63-year-old Tibetan dancer energizes cultural heritage

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Publish Time: 2022-03-30 Author: From: Ecns.cn

(ECNS) -- "We have performed Xierongzhongzi in a lot of places, and it’s favored by many people," 63-year-old Tibetan dancer Sangzhu said with pride when speaking of his career.

Xierongzhongzi, also known as "Yak Dance" in Chinese, is a traditional Tibetan performance dating back more than 1,000 years, which combines vocal music, monologue, and dance. As an inheritor of this listed National Intangible Cultural Heritage, Sangzhu has performed Xierongzhongzi for more than four decades.

Sangzhu practices Xierongzhongzi at his own yard. (Photo: China News Service/Gongga Laisong)

Sangzhu practices Xierongzhongzi at his own yard. (Photo: China News Service/Gongga Laisong)

"More than 1,000 years ago, Xierongzhongzi has already been carved onto the mural in Jokhang Temple", said Sangzhu. "During Sho Dun Festival, a traditional Tibetan festival, no Tibetan drama will kick off without Xierongzhongzi, a symbol of happiness, auspiciousness and blessing."

"During our toughest time, only two elder men knew the lyrics, and young people all chose to go out instead of learning Xierongzhongzi," Sangzhu recalled, "however, with the support from both local and central governments, Xierongzhongzi has been listed into China’s National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011."

Sangzhu, the inheritor of Xierongzhongzi. (Photo: China News Service/Gongga Laisong)

Sangzhu, the inheritor of Xierongzhongzi. (Photo: China News Service/Gongga Laisong)

With funds of more than 560,000 yuan ($88,017) allocated by China’s central government and support from the local government, there have been more opportunities for performance, and the costumes and props have been updated, he added.

After the performance at the China International Import Expo in November of 2021, Xierongzhongzi gained popularity with audiences both at home and abroad.

"We’re very proud of that," said Sangzhu. "We’re determined to inherit the ancient Tibetan culture in this way."

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