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Shazam, Ura Yakchoe: Final Day of Festival [Wide shot]

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Shazam, Ura Yakchoe: Final Day of Festival [Wide shot]
Additional title: Dance of the Four Stags
Core of Culture (Organization) (Producer)
Core of Culture (Organization) (Donor)

Bhutan Dance Project, Core of Culture

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2005
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 845A
Dance -- Bhutan
Folk dancing -- Bhutan
Dance -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism
Rites & ceremonies -- Bhutan
Masks -- Bhutan
Sword-dance -- Bhutan
Spirits (Buddhism)
Dzongs -- Bhutan -- Bumthang (District)
Bumthang (Bhutan : District)
Festivals -- Bhutan
Ritual and ceremonial dancing -- Bhutan
Mask dances -- Bhutan
Animal dances -- Bhutan
Spirit dances -- Bhutan
Filmed dance
Filmed performances
Additional physical form: For close shot version, see: *MGZIDF 845B.
Content: Programme of the Ura Yakchoe: Day Four: Apri 24, 2005: 3:30 am: Wake up call - The lama and the monks are woken up by the Gathpo clown, by a monk blowing the Jaling (oboe) and by singing girls -- 4:30 am: The morning ritual The lama and the priests assemble to perform the sadhana ceremony of Vajrapani and the invocation of Padmasambhava within the temple -- 8:00 am: Public call - The monks perform monastic music on the temple roof to summon the village to the temple ground -- 9:00 am: Fetching of Masks The monks performing mask dances fetch the masks needed for the day from the upper shrine room -- 10:00 am: Lunch The priests have their early lunch -- 11:00 am: Beginning of Masked Dances and Folk Dances From 11 am, the monks perform mask dances and the village girls perform folk dances alternately. These Masked dances include: Shazam (The Deer Dance), Rakusha Gocham (The Rakusha dance at the door) -- 3:00 pm: Tea Offering The public joins the monks in the temple to have tea sponsored by the individual units of the village -- 4:00 pm: Shawa Shachi (The Hound and Stag dance) Performance of the second scene of the drama about the hunter Gyonpo Dorje and Milarepa -- 6:00 pm: Public dances The day ends with folk dances led by the village elders -- 7:00 pm: Evening ceremony and Alcohol Tasting The monks start the evening session of rituals and the village elders assemble to taste singchang in the temple.
Venue: Videotaped in performance at the Ura Lakhang, in Bumthang, Bhutan (East-facing window overlooking courtyard), on Apr. 24, 2005.
Acquisition: Gift; Core of Culture. NN-PD
Biographical/historical: The Ura Yakchoe is said to be associated with a visit to Ura by the great 8th Century saint, Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche. The story is told how the people of Ura prayed to Padmasambhava to protect them from Leprosy. The Guru answered this call and by appearing in the village disguised as a mendicant and was invited to eat lunch by an old lady who was engaged in spinning wool. She made a lunch of buckwheat pancakes (traditional Bumthang food) but was surprised to find the beggar no longer there when she called him to eat. When she later returned to her spinning she discovered a precious statue of Vajrapani lying within her wool basket. Two different versions exist of the subsequent history of the statue. In the first version, three days later the statue miraculously flies from the old lady s house to the nearby village of Gadan. Another version has it that the statue was presented to the Gadan Lam by agreement amongst all the village people of Ura. It is also said that when the statue of Vajrapani arrived in Gadan, a nine-headed snake was disturbed and slithered out of the Ura Valley. The place is still known as Puguyungdhogo (Place of the nine-headed snake.) Leprosy, a disease thought to be spread by serpents (spirits) was eventually overcome in the Ura Valley by the blessings of Vajrapani.
Biographical/historical: The festival begins on the 12th Day of the Third Month (Lunar Calendar) with the procession of the Vajrapani relic from Gadan to the Ura Lhakhang. It ends five days later, on the 16th Day of the Third Month.
Physical Description
Born digital
Extent: 1 video file (ca. 18 min.) : sound, color
A subjugation dance attributed to the first Namkhai Nyingpo. It commemorates the story from the life of Guru Rinpoche who subjugated the God of Wind - who had been creating much unhappiness and dissatisfaction amongst men. Having conquered the spirit, the Guru then rode his mount of a White Stag and gave blessings to people throughout the country, thus restoring peace and harmony to all. The dance thus subdues evil and creates benefits for all who witness it. Shazam: The Dance of the Four Stags is a re-enactment of an auspicious incident in the life of Guru Rinpoche, the great 8th Century sage who is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan as he journeyed through the country to and from Tibet. Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) is also known as the great subjugator of those local deities and spirits who resisted the spread of Buddhism, and, having subdued them to his will, he forced them to take an oath that henceforth they would become protectors of the Dharma, thus turning his one-time opponents into staunch allies of the faith. The Dance of the Four Stags refers to one such contest in which Guru Rinpoche subdued the King of the Wind, the ruler of the Earth-Spirits (sadag) who dominated the North-western direction and who had been causing much trouble and strife amongst the people of those times. Having subdued and conquered this powerful spirit Guru Rinpoche took possession of his mount, a great Stag, and rode around the land bestowing blessings upon the people and restoring a period of peace and prosperity for all. The dance of the Four Stags was revealed by the first incarnation of Nam Nying (Namkhai Nyingpo) who created the Stag masks as a way to commemorate this event. As well as being a subjugation dance having the effect of warding off evil influences in the place where it is performed, the dance is also seen as having the beneficial effect of restoring peace and harmony in the lives of those who witness its performance.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19893450
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 3184a520-e65a-0130-ae0c-3c075448cc4b
Copyright Notice
Core of Culture
Rights Statement
This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Item timeline of events

  • 2005: Created
  • 2013: Digitized
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Shazam" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2005.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Shazam" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 13, 2024.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2005). Shazam Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Shazam, (2005)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=April 13, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>