Tsultrim Dolma is an active member of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Art centered in Dharamsala, India. After joining TIPA at a young age of ten, Dolma has organized and performed Tibetan traditional dances at various cultural events for over forty years, while acting in eight different film productions including, ‘We are no Monks,’ ‘Richard Gere is My Hero,’ and ‘Kyema,’ among several others. Dolma began her career as a performer followed by becoming a staff, and currently occupies the position of a teacher at TIPA.
Tenzin Kunsel started singing at age five and has performed in cities across the US and the world. In 2010, Kunsel performed at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall where she was introduced by world famous composer Philip Glass who wrote the music for the movie Kundun. Kunsel released her first album last year, a compilation of classic Nangma and Toeshey songs. She tells VOA that through her album, she is hoping that more young Tibetans will discover and learn to appreciate one of the most beloved musical traditions of Tibet. Tenzin Kunsel is currently a freshmen at the University of Massachusetts Amherst majoring in science.
After completing his MBA from India, Pema Dhondup studied Master in Fine Arts (MFA) from the prestigious University of Southern California as a Fulbright scholar. Pema directed and produced ‘We’re No Monks,’ a feature-length Tibetan film casting Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover. He also directed and produced Sargyur video news. Pema’s upcoming film is ‘Longsho,’ a short-length film featuring Shawn Ku.
Sonam Yeshi is one of the few women artists and designers in the Tibetan world. After graduating from the Parsons New School for Design in New York, she worked for Norbulingka institute in Dharamsala where she designed the interior space of Chonor House and Norling Hotel in Dharamsala. She is the chief designer for Norbulingka fashion and household goods which are found in fine goods shops around. Sonam Yeshi has a registered interior design company in Hong Kong and also works on her own art. She talks about contemporary Tibetan art and the intersection of her artistic and business experience.
Looks at Tibetan students in Chinese universities commemorating March 14, 2008 protests on the internet, a new website called Wildyaks, which promotes Tibetan language education with the use of animations and cartoons, and a Skype discussion on Tibetan language learning tools in cyber space.
Tashi Dhondup, aka Jhola Techung is a professionally trained Tibetan folk singer and musician. At the age of nine, he joined the Tibetan Institute of the Performing Arts and spent the next 17 years studying music and all aspects of Tibetan performing arts. After emigrating to the U.S, Techung co-founded the Chaksamba Tibetan Dance and Opera Company in 1989 and has released 8 albums. Techung is currently teaching music at Emory University. Techung says he is passionate about promoting traditional Tibetan music and plans to tour the West coast and Midwest this summer. www.techung.com
Gonpo Dhondup grew up as a nomad in Tibet and had learnt many songs and instruments by the time he was 12. He honed his performance skills by joining the Machu Performing Arts group, and participating in numerous concerts and musical competitions. Dhondup has released several albums, and has worked with musical stars like Dubey and Sherten. After coming into exile, he taught at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India, and continued releasing albums. Dhondup is also a prolific filmmaker who has not only produced his own feature films but countless music videos for other singers and musicians. He is currently based in Toronto, Canada, where he is collaborating with the Canadian Opera Company on a project. Learn more about Gonpo Dhondup at his website: www.omsinger.com
Nyima Phanthok played a key role in the formation and the success of Dharamsala based rock band JJI Exile Brothers. She recognized the interest in music that her sons had at an early age and encouraged them to pursue it by providing material and organizational support. The mother cum manager, who has operated a restaurant business for many years in Dharamsala, sponsored the brothers’ first album and managed their tours in India and abroad. Nyima Phanthok says that right from the very beginning, she was inspired to support JJI Exile Brothers because her three sons were interested in using their music to inform the world on the issue of Tibet.