All-Victorious Ocean: The Noble Life of Yeshe Tsogyal, Tantric Yogini is a 75-minute theatre work depicting momentous events in the extraordinary life of Yeshe Tsoygal, as she unstintingly pursues spiritual liberation.
A 25-minute version of the script was first performed as a solo reading in November 2008, at the Shambhala Meditation Center in Philadelphia in honor of the Feminine Principle, which in Buddhism is viewed as the embodiment of pristine wisdom, or the quality of fundamental wakefulness, that is inherent in human beings. The occasion marked the installation of a banner depicting Yeshe Tsogyal as the symbolic representation of the Feminine Principle. A 40-minute version of the script was performed as a solo reading in December of 2008 at the Won Institute for Applied Meditation Studies in Philadelphia. The current 75-minute play will premiere on October 30th 2009 as the feature cultural event of the 38th Annual Conference (Mid-Atlantic Region) of the Association for Asian Studies, hosted by Villanova University.
The production includes an original music score inspired by traditional Tibetan sacred sound. Evocative of Tibet, the stage setting will co-mingle ancient and modern design with rich imagery, striking color and contemplative movement.
Joanna Rotté, PhD, Professor of Theatre and Resident Actor at Villanova University, wrote the play, based on three translations of an 18th century Tibetan literary-biography entitled (in translation) The Secret Life and Songs of the Tibetan Lady Yeshe Tsogyal. The biography is considered a masterpiece. Ms. Rotté performs the role of Yeshe Tsogyal.
Yeshe Tsogyal - a 211 year old woman who appears ageless;
Disciple - a young woman with all the marks of a dakini, who sings and maintains a purification ritual throughout the performance;
Chorus - two men and a woman, chanters and singers, who emerge as characters in Yeshe Tsogyal’s story;
Guru Padmasambhava - fully realized Meditation Master is played by an actor and is realized through myriad images and recorded voice. He speaks in a gentle, warm, high-pitch voice with a distinctive accent, matching in musicality, enunciation and rhythm to the voice of the renowned meditation master Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.