Monastic Dance in Bhutan

March/April 2005

Hired by the Honolulu Academy of Arts to document monastic dance in Bhutan, Pat and his old friend, DP Roger Vernon, embarked on a shoot that put them in touch with some wonderful Bhutanese.

Filmmaker Karma Tshering, (at right) who has produced a string of well crafted dramatic films with folkloric Bhutanese themes, gave us some deep insights into his fascinating, intact Himalayan culture.

As did Tshewang Nidup, managing director of Bhutan Expeditions Tshewang was our very capable interpreter who exhibited his gentlemanly calm in even the most harried circumstances.

We shot about 45 hours of footage during a 5 day Tsechu in the village of Paro.

The tsechus are the most colourful of all Bhutanese religious gatherings and are celebrated at every Dzong (fortress).

The choreography of Tsechus commemorates the deeds of the Buddha, and honours Guru Rimpoche, or Padmasambhava, who brought Buddhism to the country in the 8th century.

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Bhutan dance

Bhutan dance