Duixie is a type of Tibetan dance that originated near the Yarlung River. Duixie is usually likened to a version of tap dance and is accompanied by music played by a small band (“Duixie”). This has an interesting similarity to American tap dance and its culture. Because American tap dance was born with jazz, more so than other American dance forms, tap dance was, and still is, consistently performed with a live jazz quartet. Whether this dependency on a small band is coincidental or causational is not something I am attempting to explore in such a short amount of time, but regardless, the similarity should be noted.
Duixie first gained popularity around the mid seventeenth century when the fifth Dalai Lama announced the initiation of a new annual festival, the Sholdon Festival, which would be held in Lhasa around the summer solstice. This festival was allegedly created to strengthen Dalai’s ruler position, so he asked groups from all parts of Tibet to Lhasa to join in. At this festival, a group from the Yarlung valley performed a version of Duixie, which was received very well by the audience at the Sholdon festival (“Tibetan Dance”). This exposure lead to the spread of Duixie, which can now be found around many areas of Tibet, including in Lhasa.
Duixie is most notably accompanied by a dramyin player. The music for acco
mpaniment of Duixie has been formalized into a slow opening, short interlude, allegro and finale (“Duixie”). This is similar to the standard structure for a classical ballet. Classical ballets consist of various standard sections including petit allegro (small jump section), adagio (slow and graceful section), pas de deux (partnering section), and grand allegro (large, powerful section). As such, even though Duixie is much newer and much less established in Tibetan culture than classical ballet is in Western culture, it is interesting that such a fairly rigid structure has already began to take place.