For some unknown reason all the photos in this post completely disappeared almost a year after it was put up?? Only the title remained......
I will not attempt to recapture the mood again but I will throw up some of the photos that were originally included.
The setting in the Dzong is almost as impressive as the performance itself.
The show begins spectacularly with the Black hat dance and with it the twirling dervishes also began.
Highlanders or Brokpas dressed in their finery performed between the scenes of the main show as did other troupes of women who can not participate in the dramatisation.
The audience was crammed into every nook and cranny and regularly spilled into the performing space.
More whirling dervishes as the action gets into full flight.
Brokpas in the audience were as captivated by the masks and dancing as everyone else.
Day 2 began with the entire monk body assembled in front of the huge Thongdrel and we were up at dawn to enjoy the spectacle and receive the blessing.
The ceremonies were beyond our comprehension but the spectacle and reverence was obvious.
Many dignitaries were in the "box" seats for this auspicious event and here the deputy governor wearing ceremonial sword paid respect to the monks and officiating lama.
The minstrels played and the dancing commenced as we came forward to be blessed by the throngdrel,
All hands were on deck for this and we even recognised faces among the bearers.
Once again the whirling black hats were centre stage in the morning.
These acrobatic but fearsome looking dancers were adorned with skeleton faces.
Once again the women performed in breaks in the action.
Lunch was carried through the crowd for those dignitaries watching from the upper rooms of the Dzong
He who was to be judged!
Those who did the judging.
Close up on the back of one of the amazing costumes.
The fools, jesters or clowns who interact with the audience and the performers and are non-stop bundles of energy for 3 whole days.
The masks from which the dances get their name.
I just loved the elephant.
Evidence of wrong doing- hunting, fishing...
The huge effigy that the audience pressed in to be blessed by.
The demons who appeared in windows and doorways as well as in the performing space. They were loudly beating drums and blowing whistles attempting to distract those powerful gods.
Live musical accompaniment throughout.
Day 3 and the moral lessons to be learned.