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5february20104Dharamshala: It has been just three months since the establishment of our Tibet Cholsum Art Performance Institute ( Gangchen Cholsum Lugar Tsokpa), the main goal of the institute is to preserve Tibetan culture and religion through our work, and to aid the integration of Tibetan communities. In particular we seek to help disaffected students and disadvantaged people in the community who are facing hardship.

The performers in the institute come from all three provinces of Tibet. Under the leadership and guidance of Nobel Peace Laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and through a following of Tibetan Buddism, we believe we are on the track towards peace. This is also why we chose the dove, a worldwide-recognised symbol of peace, as the logo of our institute.

I request all people in the Tibetan Community's strong support for our institute."

The director of the Chousam Institute Tashi Tsering described the membership of his institute, "currently there are 20 performers, comprising members and staff, in the institute. We staged two performances in Delhi, three in Bodhgaya, one in Manali and several here in Dharamshala."

How will this program help in the preservation of Tibetan culture?

"The goal of our institute is to create a strong connection between all Tibetans in our community. In our community we already have the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts to promote the practice and preservation of traditional Tibetan dance music and theatre. However we try to stage not only traditional Tibetan performances, but performances from Japanese, Korean, Nepali and Indian cultures.

5february20103At present, due to a lack of facilities and professional training, we currently lack the capacity to compose lyrics and music of the professional quality that we want. However, we have the plans to achieve this in the near future.

Next we will perform in Southern India. We would like to travel all over to perform, but currently financial concerns prohibit this. When these financial problems are overcome, however, we will travel further afield to perform, and we will also stage shows free of cost to attendees.

When we performed in Delhi, there was an audience of around 300 people, and we mostly see a turnout of between 200 and 500, depending on the venue. We have plans to record our performances on CD with high-quality production."

One member of the institute, Jigme Tenzin, explained "production costs are extremely high and most performers are Tibetan new arrivals, who do not have a strong support network, and unfortunately, significant financial problems frequently arise. In the future we have plans to seek sponsorship to run restaurants and community stores to provide supplementary income for the institute and its members. Our ultimate goal is to serve the community."

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