The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts based in Dharamshala, northern India conducted an ‘Artiste Recruitment Test’ for its twenty-six vacant seats, which is the first major recruitment in a decade on August 19, 2014.
Tenzin Lhaksam, Secretary of TIPA said, 'with more and more artists leaving to west on personal ground or opting for teaching jobs in schools, we have to fill the huge vacancies being left behind. The last major recruitment that took place in 2004 saw about 400 applicants, out of which more than 300 showed up for the auditions, but this year its only 36.'
TIPA has raised the requirement from 8th grade to 10th grade graduate, but this year's students were allowed to select specific programs such as music, dance, or opera, and unlike previous tests, the applicants can perform only in their selected program.
Tenzin Kalsang, a student of Tibetan Homes School, Mussoorie, who had attended cultural classes in China was sitting for the opera test. He said his intense interest in opera is to preserve the uniqueness of Tibetan opera which he doesn't find in other cultures.
Tenzin Nordon, a student from TCV Suja, who is a member of school dance troupe as well as band group, said her purpose of participating in this test is to travel around the world to exchange culture through dance. She said her entire family loves singing, and that her parents were both dancers in Tibet.
Lobsang Samten, Head of Performing Arts Section, who was one of the judges at the recruits talked about the difficulty in filling the required vacancies out of these tests, and said he has found only few eligible candidates so far. Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts expects to have between 50 to 60 members, but currently there are only 33.