|Photo © Leonid Plotkin - All Rights Reserved|
"Mysterium tremendum et fascinans"Mysterium Tremendum is a Latin phrase meaning fearful mystery, which was coined by Rudolf Otto who is best known for his analysis of the experience that, in his view, underlies all religion.
This is how Leonid Plotkin -a photographer whose work I've featured a number of times on this blog- titled his photo essay of Buddhist rituals and of ceremonial dances made in the remote regions of Ladakh and Zanskar.
Some of the photographs are of Cham dances; the masked and costumed ceremonial performances associated with Tibetan Buddhism performed during Buddhist festivals. These dances are accompanied by music played by monks using traditional Tibetan instruments. The dances offer moral instruction relating to compassion, for good to defeat evil and bring merit to the performers and the audience.
Leonid Plotkin is a freelance documentary photographer and writer. His work has appeared in publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The Economist, Penthouse Magazine, Student Traveler, Budget Travel, Discovery Magazine, MSN.com and others.