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Mystical Arts of Tibet to open Artists Series

RELEASED: Sept. 1, 2011

Mystical Arts

EAU CLAIRE — The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will open the Artists Series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Sept. 15. Their performance, titled "Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

The Buddhist monks of Drepung Loseling promote world peace and healing, and share Tibet's ancient sacred arts with Western audiences. The Mystical Arts of Tibet tours are sponsored by Richard Gere Productions and the Loseling Institute and endorsed by the Dalai Lama as a means of raising international awareness of the endangered Tibetan civilization.

Dressed in rich brocaded silk, the lamas play sacred music on traditional 10-foot-long trumpets, cymbals, bells and gyaling horns. The multiphonic singers chant in deep, resonant voices using a technique in which each person holds three notes simultaneously. In masks and colorful costumes they present the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion and other temple dances performed for thousands of years in Tibet.

Lasting approximately two hours, including an intermission, the "Sacred Music Sacred Dance" performance comprises 11 selections. A general introduction begins the performance and each selection is preceded by a brief explanation of its meaning and purpose — such as offerings of inner and outer peace, expression of joy and freedom, and meditative music.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet was last presented for the Artists Series during the 1999-2000 season. Along with their performances at universities and community venues across the U.S., the monks of Drepung Loseling have shared the stage with Kitaro, Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Michael Stipe, Natalie Merchant, Patti Smith, the Beastie Boys and many others. They were featured in the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack of the film "Seven Years in Tibet" and performed with composer Phillip Glass at the premiere presentation of his Oscar-nominated score for Martin Scorsese's "Kundun."

Tickets are $17 for the public, $15 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, or $7 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets for students are half-price, $3.50, until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students must pay the full student-ticket price.

Tickets are available at the Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center and will be sold at the door.

Patrons also may charge their tickets to Discover, MasterCard or Visa when they purchase online or order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all online and telephone charge orders.

            Coupled with the Artists Series performance is a week of free activities in which the monks of Drepung Loseling will create a mandala sand painting, a sacred cosmogram used as an object of contemplation, in the Skylight Lounge of Davies Center. Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place in this ancient spiritual art form in order to purify and heal the environment and its inhabitants. The opening ceremony will begin at noon Sept. 12 and work on the sand painting will continue until a closing ceremony at noon Sept. 16. A lecture and discussion titled "The Symbolism of the Sand Mandala" will take place at noon Sept. 14 in Davies Theatre.

The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin. The Artists Series also is a funded in part by Visit Eau Claire ... The Unexpected Wisconsin. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support.

Funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is administered by the Activities, Involvement, and Leadership office of the University Centers.

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JS/DW

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