Chinese Opera opens in the make-up room of the People's Theatre in Canton, where the cost is preparing for a 300-year-old Cantonese opera called Niu Yi Chuan Su, a romance, and then moves on to an acrobatic training school for future opera stars. The video concludes with a performance by the Northern Opera Group in Beijing. The viewer is given an in-depth, first-hand experience of this fascinating ancient art form.
Panoramic views of the high snow ranges provide the backdrop for the austere and rugged village of life of Tibetans and Ladakhis, high in the western Himalayas. Echoes from Tibet examines their shared social habits, Buddhist religion and customs. Tibetan script Harvesting and threshing; work songs; the vigorous yok dance - all these are explored in the first half of the film.
Next, we are taken to a Tibetan refugee settlement for a look at daily life and work. Men and women work at typical handicrafts while singling work songs, Tibetan women make carpet trimmings with accompanying songs. They collect their children from a day nursery, going home and working at their spinning wheels.
A huge incense burner with rising smoke welcomes a visit from his holines, the Dalai Lama to the Tibetan Children's Village at the Dharamsala to the Western foothills of the Himalayas. The film ends with an extract from a ritual dance-drama staged for the occasion of the Dalai Lama's visit, followed by a dance of the Black Hal Sect. A wonderful and intimate look at there fascinating people.
The great classical violinist, Yehudi Menuhin , introduces Raga with an explanation of the Morning rage, Ahira Bhairava. This is followed by footage of that same raga being played by musicians in Jaipur in Rajasthan, still one of the most traditional states in India.
The program includes the complex process of making of the various stringed instruments (sitar, sarod, tanpur, etc.) for the playing of the Raga. Menuhin explains the masculine or feminine character and emotional content of each Raga and its appropriate time of day for playing.
Filmed entirely in Bali - the famed Hindu island in the archipelago of Indonesia. The historical video shows the day-to day life of the islanders, their folk songs, gamelan orchestras and dance dramas. The temple is the focal point of each village where the villagers gather for religious ceremonies as well as for music and dance. The film features stunning, rarely captured footage of two religious dance/dramas named Barong, and Ketchak, the legendary monkey chant.
The film include some fascinating general footage, always with traditional music as background, as well as some valuable and sometimes extended scenes of genuine ceremonies and events. - Dr. Terry Miller, Department of Ethnomusicology, Hugh A. Glauser School of Music, Kent State University
Born in New York City, Soh Daiko has taken taiko from its Japanese homeland and drawn inspiration from the living world culture surrounding it. This is the story of a collective drumming community and an empowering Asian American art form, from its beginnings in the basement of the New York Buddhist Church in 1979, as told bu its founders and its former and present members.
These films, including 18 separate events, made at the beginning of the Super 8 era with a silent camera and separate tape recorder, and at the end, with a sound-sync camera, feature performances by some of The Gambia's legendary Mandinka musicians. With a single roving camera, ethnomusicologist Roderic Knight captures the enthusiasm and artistry of jaliyaa, one of Africa's classic genres, and several other genres, including tantango drumming, a style that is today being eclipsed by the djembe.
This is a collection of films made with a Super 8 movie camera. The Gambian scenes were made in 1970 with a silent camera, the sound recorded on a Nagra III tape recorder. The scenes from Guinea and Mali (nos. 5 and 6), were made with a sound-sync Super 8 camera. Digital technology, expertly implemented by Elio Trabal, Oberlin College class of 2004, has enabled the release of these glimpses of late twentieth-century musical activities. There are ten scenes, two contributed by renowned Gambian expert David Gamble.
Each scene focuses on a specific event or musical group. Five are devoted to regional sub-groups of the broad Mande culture. The Mandinka of the Gambia, the Karanko of Guinea, and the Serahuli of Mali. The other five scenes feature the Fula, Balanta, and Jola people. Also included are glimpses of the Super Eagles, a popular Gambian band, and the first Gambian president, Sir Dawda Jawara, speaking at a political rally.
This film takes the viewer to a kingdom in the Himalayas, where tribal animism, Buddhism, and Hinduism live in harmony. In the folklore of Nepal, religious mask-dances with the sound of large barrel drums illustrate the age-old battle between good and evil. We also hear a gayen, the itinerant singer of the Nepalese folk tradition, side-by-side with temple songs.
Thai folk songs and dances - such as the beautiful fingernail dance and the precision bamboo dance - are filmed in performance, as is a segment from the classical the epic poem/dance, the Ramayana. The program also looks at Thailand's rural cottage industries and river trade, explores temple ceremonies, architecture, and religious art as well as the Buddhist way of life in the monasteries and villages.
The Mevlevi Dervish Order was founded in the 13th century by Mevlana Jeladed-din Rumi, a poet and mystic who rebelled against orthodox Islamic beliefs by replacing formal prayers with songs and dances. The Dervish order was banned in Turkey in the early 20th century, but once a year the government allows the Whirling Dervish ceremony to take place at Konya in Anatolia where the religion was founded. This extraordinary occasion is shown as a sequenced presentation with more than sixty-five devotees spinning like tops in a ritualized pattern, ultimately achieving an experience leading to religious ecstasy.
Contains 18 scenes filmed originally on Super 8 movie film in 1970 and 1982. They were released on VHS in the 1990s by Original Music as Music of the Mande, Parts I, II, and III.
For this edition the accompanying booklet has been rewritten and expanded to include all song texts and translations in PDF format on a separate disc. All of the scenes from Music of the Mande videotapes Parts I, II, and III are included and have been carefully re-edited and brought into sync wherever possible.