I thought to write today on the recently concluded Yarkyi festival. So, I googled and browsed Wikipedia to do some research on it but I didn’t find much information. So I started to write something with whatever little knowledge I had. If there is any shortcomings or add ups that are needed, please free to let me know.
The annual summer festival of Yarkyi is a musical competition that is held to mark the founding anniversary of Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA).
The festival is an internal competition between the institute’s two houses: Gyalu and Ngonpa. The title of these two houses is inspired by characters from traditional Tibetan opera. Each group is assigned to research two folk dances, compose one solo and one group song. On the founding anniversary, the actual competition is held in front of dignitaries from Central Tibetan Administration and guests of the institute. The competition is judged by competent experts drawn from various fields. The whole musical program is later performed live for general audiences and is also made available through DVD.
I have attended the 59th founding anniversary of Yarkyi, where I got an opportunity to sit below the stage. I took several shots while the artistes were presenting their best performances on the stage.
To my notice, Gen Samten la who is a teacher at TIPA was the busiest person during the festival. He was donning multiple roles of MC, an entertainer as well as the in-house DJ that plays recorded music after he is done emceeing.
He even sings Nangma Toeshey, a Tibetan folk song. I don’t have much knowledge of music but I enjoyed the performances while capturing photos of the event. During fourth round of folk dance competition, most of the artist started to sweat a lot as they have to wear Traditional dress meant for people in cold area of Tibet.
While watching Yarkyi, I can feel the passion and dedication the artistes. They have put a lot of effort and hard work into the competition. Once the competition is over Ngonpa won the overall performance. I was busy taking a photo while a representative from both houses came to collect the prizes. One girl from Gyalu was almost in tears at the fact that she wasn’t able to take a prize from CTA President which clearly showed their passion and drive towards the competition.
Artistes have started to practice performance since several months back. They secretly practice so that the opponent house won’t be able to copy their styles or tunes. It is done to foster a sense of competition as it is a way to improve capability and hone the skills to greater level.
Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts is one of the pioneer cultural institute established through the vision of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The institute was established on 11 August 1959, registered under the Society Act XXI of 1860 Government of India. Based in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, the institute aims to preserve and promote Tibetan musical heritage and arts.