Ache Lhamo or Lhamo is a type of classical theatre act that includes dance and music performances. Originating from Tibet, this is a popular dance form that has been prevalent in this culture for centuries. In the Western world, an equivalent form of it would be opera. In this theatre-style performance, the characters all wear colourful masks and headdress and they play a narrative performance, with simple satirical or comedic dialogues.
Most of the stories are inspired by folk tales from ancient Buddhist culture in India. They are theatrical representations of crucial events and people in Tibetan history. On the other hand, the performances also have a touch of ritualistic or ceremonial techniques, mainly derived from the period of the Tibetan Royal Dynasty.
The tradition of Ache Lhamo
The tradition of Ache Lhamo started in the 14th century, by Thangtong Gyalpo, a scholar and saint from Shigatse County. The origin of Lhamo has some touch of the musical dramas from the 6th-9th century CE Tibetan Royal Dynastic period and ancient Indian Buddhist history. Gyalpo is highly revered in the Tibetan community for his contributions to society and as the patron of Llamo.