Young man turns interest into career, becomes keen promoter of Tibetan dance

(People's Daily Online) 17:39, November 02, 2021

Photo taken on Oct. 19, 2021 shows Jigme Dechen putting on a folk dance show in Riwoche county, Chamdo city, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. (China News Agency/Ran Wenjuan)

After going professional, 24-year-old Tibetan man Jigme Dechen now stands on a bigger platform to promote Tibetan folk dance.

Dancing has been a source of pleasure for Jigme Dechen since his childhood. “My dream was to dance on the stage,” he said. When he was 16, Jigme Dechen became a member of an art troupe in Riwoche county, Chamdo city, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

But unlike the old days when he was happy just dancing randomly, Jigme Dechen realized that learning it professionally was a toilsome process. “I spent long hours pressing my legs, and because we didn’t have a standard classroom, I got hurt sometimes when I didn’t have proper protection while practicing,” Jigme Dechen recalled.

Jigme Dechen’s parents believed their son would not be able to find a decent job from dancing, and suggested he pursue another career as a traffic policeman. It was his strong passion for dancing that gave the young man the strength to move forward. After gradually adapting to the intensity of practice at the art troupe, Jigme Dechen started feeling good about himself and realized his dream step by step. “I found myself becoming more confident and happier, and my horizons have also been broadened,” Jigme Dechen said.

In recent years, the local government of Riwoche has attached great importance to enhancing the protection and inheritance of traditional ethnic culture, conducting frequent cultural exchange and mutual learning activities with other cities, such as those in Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality. This provided Jigme Dechen and his colleagues with more opportunities to showcase the charm of Tibetan dance to more audiences around the country.

In 2019, Jigme Dechen was recommended by his art troupe to take part in a dance show produced by the art troupe of the Tibet Autonomous Region, which was preparing for the dance competition for the 12th Lotus Awards to be held in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture in Sichuan province. During the rehearsals, Jigme Dechen practiced so hard that he sometimes forgot to eat. The dance show won an award at the competition. “When the host announced the competition results, I was so excited that I was on the verge of tears. My efforts had finally paid off,” said Jigme Dechen.

Now that he’s on a bigger platform, Jigme Dechen has decided that he should do more to promote Tibetan dance. In recent years, he has visited villages to collect information about local folk dances. “Many folk dances may become extinct after the elderly people who know how to dance them pass away. So I must hurry up,” Jigme Dechen explained.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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