Royal Academy of Performing Arts

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Royal Academy of Performing Arts
Abbreviation RAPA
Formation 1952 (1952)
Type Government body
Legal status Active
Purpose Cultural preservation and promotion
Coordinates 27°29′N 89°38′E / 27.48°N 89.64°E / 27.48; 89.64Coordinates: 27°29′N 89°38′E / 27.48°N 89.64°E / 27.48; 89.64
Region served
Official language
Dzongkha, other languages of Bhutan
Rinzin Penjore[1]
Parent organization
Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs
Affiliations Government of Bhutan

The Royal Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA) is a Bhutanese government body within the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Department of Culture,[2] that supports the preservation of traditional Bhutanese culture.[3][4] It was founded in 1954[5] under the initiative of the Third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. In 1967, it was institutionalised as an academy and the Royal Dance troupe was its creation.[6] The Academy is located in Thimphu, along Chhophel Lam.[7]


The Academy trains young dancers and musicians in both religious and secular folk music and dance.[8] The Academy also documents and performs live songs and dances from Bhutan's many diverse regions – from modern rigsar to centuries-old genres – and publishes its collections.[9]

The professional dancers of the Academy hold performances during the annual Thimphu Tsechu dance festival held at Tashichho Dzong. Throughout the year, its members give one-hour performances for guests and tour groups on request.[6][8][10] The Academy also hosts public dance practices ahead of major events, such as the 2011 royal wedding,[11] and performs abroad.[12]

Leaders of the Academy further participate in international private nonprofit organizations promoting and preserving traditional Bhutanese music and culture.[1][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Advisory Board". Music of Bhutan. Music of Bhutan Research Center online. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  2. ^ "Department: Culture: Divisions". Nangsi Lhenkhag – Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs Online. Government of Bhutan. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  3. ^ Ardussi, John; Pommaret, Françoise (2007). Bhutan: Traditions and Changes. Brill's Tibetan Studies Library. BRILL. p. 3. ISBN 90-04-15551-1. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  4. ^ Kelly, Sanja; Walker, Christopher; Dizard, Jake (2008). Countries at the Crossroads: a Survey of Democratic Governance. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 96. ISBN 0-7425-5899-1. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  5. ^ Leiter, Samuel L. (2007). Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre: A-N. Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre. 1. Greenwood Press. p. 61. ISBN 0-313-33530-3. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  6. ^ a b Brown, Lindsey; Bradley Mayhew; Stan Armington; Richard Whitecross (2009). Bhutan. Penguin. p. 106. ISBN 1-74059-529-7. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  7. ^ "Royal Academy of Performing Arts". Lonely Planet online. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  8. ^ a b Brown, Lindsay; Armington, Stan (2007). Bhutan. Country Guides (3 ed.). Lonely Planet. pp. 61, 106, 113. ISBN 1-74059-529-7. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  9. ^ "Case Study Report: Bhutan" (PDF). Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU). 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  10. ^ Dorje, Gyurme (1999). Tibet Handbook: with Bhutan (2 ed.). Footprint Travel Guides. p. 840. ISBN 1-900949-33-4. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  11. ^ "A Gift from the Sacred Past". Bhutan Observer online. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  12. ^ "Bhutan – Dance Performance". University of Texas at El Paso online. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  13. ^ "About Us". Music of Bhutan. Music of Bhutan Research Center online. Retrieved 2011-10-15.