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Zhabdrung Zednam, Punakha Tsechu: Day One [Close shot]

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Zhabdrung Zednam, Punakha Tsechu: Day One [Close shot]

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Zhabdrung Zednam, Punakha Tsechu: Day One [Close shot]
Additional title: Coming of the Zhabdrung: Scene 3 & 4: The Zhabdrung establishes monks at Cheri Monastery and Dranyen Zhey
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 777B
Dance -- Bhutan
Folk dancing -- Bhutan
Dance -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism
Rites & ceremonies -- Bhutan
Dzongs -- Bhutan -- Punakha (District)
Punakha (Bhutan : District)
Festivals -- Bhutan
Ritual and ceremonial dancing -- Bhutan
Filmed dance
Filmed performances
Biographical/historical: The Punakha Tsechu (as opposed to the Punakha Drubchen) is of recent origin, having been first performed in 2005. Dasho Thinley Gyamtsho, the Principal of RAPA, was asked to create a new dance spectacle to help inaugurate the Tsechu, and he devised a new piece, taking three days to perform, The Coming of the Zhabdrung which recounts the history of Zhabdrung, Nagawang Namgyal particularly as it relates to his arrival in Punakha and the building of the Punakha Dzong, Pungthang Dechen Phodrang.
Content: Programme for the Punakha Tsechu, Day One: Feb. 18, 2005: Thongdrel Jyekha - Viewing of the Thongdrel of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal ; Shazam - Dance of the Four Stags ; Zhabdrung Zednam - The Coming of the Zhabadrung (Dance Drama) ; Tsechu Zhanag (Nyer Chig) Cham - Dance of the Black Hats (21 Forms) ; Nyulemai Cham - The Dance of the Evil Spirit ; Peling Jug Ging - The Dance of the Ging with sticks ; Peling Dri Ging - The Dance of the Ging with swords ; Peling Nga Ging - The Dance of the Ging with Drums.
For wide shot version, see: *MGZIDF 777A.
Venue: Videotaped in performance at the main courtyard, Punakha Dzong, in Punakha, Bhutan (camera level with dancers), on Feb. 18, 2005.
Acquisition: Gift; Core of Culture. NN-PD
Biographical/historical: Pungthang Dechen Phodrang Dzong (The Palace of Great Bliss) in Punakha was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637-38 and is of great historical significance. Located on a stretch of land where two rivers, the Phochu and Mochu, coverage, the Dzong appears as great anchored ship. It was here that the Zhabdrung died in 1651. Again, it was here that the first hereditary Monarch of Bhutan, King Ugyen Wangchuck, was enthroned just over one hundred years ago, on 17th December 1907. Punakha served as the winter capital of the Kingdom until 1955, (after which the capital moved to Thimphu) and Punakha Dzong continues to be the winter residence of the Central Monastic Authority (CMA) the main monk body of the Drukpa Kagyu School.
Physical Description
Born digital
Extent: 1 video file (13 min.) : sound, color
First performance of the new Coming of the Zhabdrung dance/drama choreographed by Ramjam Thinley Gyamtso, Principal of RAPA, to commemorate the inauguration of the first Punakha Tsechu in 2005. The choreography includes highlights from specific regional folk-dances, such as the Goen Zhey (from Gasa) which was said to be a dance with which the Zhabdrung was first welcomed to Bhutan, after first crossing over from Tibet. This is a new kind of dance-drama which was written by the then Principal of RAPA (Royal Academy of the Performing Arts) Ramjam thinley Gyamtsho, for the inaugural Punakha Tsechu of 2005. The drama takes place over the three days of the tsechu, and shows various scenes from the life of the Zhabdrung, Ngawang Namgyal (1594-1651) dramatising the period when he left Tibet. The Zhabdrung came from a powerful religious family in Tibet. After difficulties with a lineage claim to his being the reincarnataion of the highly esteemed Pema Karpo, the Zhabdrung left Tibet in 1616 and traveled south to Bhutan, where he first founded Cheri Monastery at the head of the Thimphu Valley. The Zhabdrung unified Bhutan under his rule over the course of the next few decades and established the distinctive dual system of government which saw control of the country shared.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19876377
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 6c6ff290-e50d-0130-fe1b-3c075448cc4b
Copyright Notice
Core of Culture
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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
  • 2020: Found by you!
  • 2021

MLA Format

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

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Zhabdrung Zednam" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 23, 2020.

APA Format

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

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Zhabdrung Zednam, (2005)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=January 23, 2020 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Zhabdrung Zednam