Three Principles in the Khaita Dances

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

On the three principles that are indispensible in the Khaita dances

Firstly when we are dancing Khaita, we are not doing western dances and you are not only jumping. Some people only like to jump, but this is not the principle of dancing. There are three principles that you should remember about the Khaita dances that we do. The first is what we call in Tibetan ldem ལྡེམ་, which means harmonious, so all movements should be harmonious. This is number one and should not be lacking.

The second point is called ‘gyu འགྱུ་, which means movement, so when you turn to the left or the right or bend forwards, all movements should be harmonious, not only jumping. When they dance some people jump too much. Maybe it is nice but it doesn’t correspond with the dance.

The last point is ‘grig འགྲིག་, which means that you coordinate all your movements with the music. When, for example, you are dancing in a circle, most people are not in a circle – sometimes people in the circle are very far apart, other times they are very near. For that reason when we dance Gangs-chen-pa [M3-6-10], for example, we always find some difficulties because there is no ‘grig. You do not follow or look to see where the other people are, how much space there is between the person in front and the person behind you. Dance should be coordinated.

So you should always remember these three: ldem, ‘gyu, ‘grig. These are indispensible for dancing. You shouldn’t just be jumping. You should remember that, coordinate your body and dance.

Dzamling Gar March 1, 2016. An excerpt from an informal talk during a practice session.

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