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WHAT TO DO IN MONGOLIA. 12. TO ENJOY MONGOLIAN FOLKLORE CONCERT

Blog | published: 2019-01-21

12TH THING YOU SHOULD DO IN MONGOLIA IS TO ENJOY FOLKLORE CONCERT    

Blue Mongolia Tour agency names the one of the best things to do in Mongolia is to enjoy Mongolian Folklore Concert.

In Ulaanbaatar city, you will have a nice chance to enjoy Mongolian Folklore Concert in the evening by 6 p.m in the National theatre or at Tumen Ekh ensemble theatre. Mongolian Folklore Concert and Entertainment Show’s program includes several unique performances and art acts, which describes the features of Mongolian nomadic culture and nomadic art. Nomadic art and performances from nomadic culture is really different in sounding, feeling, movements with rare unexpected acts for the western tourists. Tourist Folklore Show concert program includes following performances, which are representing the Mongolian folklore art: overtone singing (throat singing), contortion act, prolonged song singing, folklore dancing (bie bielgee dance), Horse fiddle string music intruments play, Mongolian national music group orkestre play, buddhist religious dance (djohor tsam), shaman religious dance and so on… All artists are dressed in mongolian traditional costumes deel, all musicians use traditional music instruments: horse-headed 2 strings fiddle, 21 strings harp, cymballa, jaw harp, indigenous flutes, drum, cymbal, 3 strings instruments, ankle bones rasp, big long trumpet. Mongolian traditional theatre’s goal is to present the rare selection of ancient Mongolian performing arts and culture, which are registered as UNESCO’s intangible culture heritages, to international audiences and young modern generations.

Mongolian folklore songs are magnificient, lovely and with many of different versions. The best performance is Mongolian over-tone singing, which is sometimes called as throat singing, overtone chanting, harmonic singing. This is type of singing in which the singer artist manipulates the resonances as creating air traveling from lungs through throat and nose, passing the vocal folds, producing out of the melody through lips. The harmonics – overtones of the sound made by human voice can be selectively amplified by changing the shape of resonant cavities of mouth, larynx, parynx and nasals. The resonant tune start can be from stomach cavity, chest cavity, pharynx, larynx, nasal, labial, palatal cavities. Therefore, singers can create apparently more than one pitch at the same time and actually generate a single fundamental frequency with their different vocal folds. The best Mongolian overtone singers can generate a sounding with 16 different tunes with different combination of vocal folds. This overtone singing’s next style is literally growling singing (kharkhiraa khoomii) and whispering singing (isgeree khoomii). Many of these styles are practiced in though Mongolia. This is the unique and best heritage art from nomadic life. In present time, lots of art scholars are trying to find the root and origin and reason of this art creation before bronze age. Maybe, it could be connected with the ancient belief- shamanism or ancient belief – epic singing and wishing good luck.    

Another type of Mongolian singing is prolonged song (long song) in genre. It means that song is not long, the song’s words’ each syllable is extended for a long duration. It means that a five minutes song may only consist of 10 words and it will be song in always in full tones. For example: Old man and a bird philosophical song (Ovgon Shuvuu hoyor) has 32 stanzas in full and it has to sang for more than 3 hours. In this case 4-5 singers sing prolonged song continueing in terms. Lyrical themes vary with high significances: philosophical, religious (wishing good lucks), celebratory, epical, romantic and nomadic. The main theme is a horse, nature, ancestor and a state. This song is always sang in the melody of horse headed 2 strings fiddle instruments, Mongolian name is morin khuur. Folklore prolonged song embraces a comprehensive nature of all national traditions and customs, including history, culture, aesthetics, ethics and philosophy. The talented male singers with both of tenor and baritone voices and female singers with alto and soprano voices sing this prolonged song magically and amazingly, so theatre professional singers have both voices. The Most harmonious feature of this prolonged song is prolonged tenuto notes with deeply modulated vibrato on vowels, the Mongolian name is shurankhai.

The Mongolian prolonged song’s best and respectful version is Aizam prolonged song. This songs are grand and respectful songs, which possesses extensively broad diapason and diverse vocal movement techniques in 2-3 octaves. This song is not dedicated for the tourists, it is dedication is the for the state celebration.                         

Another type of songs for tourists entertainment is Minor Long song- besreg duu and talk song – khariltsaa duu in Mongolian. Talk song is the interesting and more humorous meaning. Man and woman singers are singing to each other and talking. For example: Two young nomad boy and girl are dating on the hill and talking to each other as teasing others and so on.

The next mongolian feature in art is contortionism. It is not acrobat, it is another type of discipline of circus art. It is a form of ultra-flexibility that allows a performer to bend in ways that seem completely unnatural and – often – highly uncomfortable. That is why contortionist don’t use ropes, high wires and other suspensions to accomplish feats of balance and aerial maneuvers. But contortion focuses on the body's ability to bend and flex as well as whole body balancing on her teeth and like this way they do unexpected things. When her whole is balancing on her teeth, she is playing violin, swirling, archery shooting, playing a ball and so on.. Front bender contortionists are those who flex their spines forward in a number of strange and exotic ways. That includes wrapping the feet behind your head and walking around on your hands like some kind of human crab.

Back bender contortionist are generally considered the more artistic segment of the contortion community. One common back-bending exercise involves a contortionist lying on his or her chest with arms stretched above the head, slowly bending the legs backward until the toes touch the ground near the hands. Another move starts with the contortionist standing on his or her feet and slowly bending back until the hands touch the ground.  

The Mongolian traditional dance is originated based on exercises and fun and it is called as biyelgee in Mongolian. Biyelgee dances embody the nomadic way of life and spiritual characteristics tied to other movements. Biyelgee dances are typically confined to the small space inside the ger (nomadic dwelling) and are performed while half sitting or cross-legged or standing positions.  Biyelgee dancers wear traditional colorful costumes and accessories featuring colorful combinations, artistic patterns, embroidery, knitting, quilting and leather techniques, and gold and silver jewellery specific to their ethnic group and community. Besides the biyelgee dance, there are traditional dances for the mountain worshipping, fire worshipping or some dances for cavalries. You will love the melody rhythm of Mongolian dances.

The theatre’s orkestre performance is the majestic and harmonious.  They play traditional instruments including the morin khuur (horse headed fiddle), Mongolian flutes, 2 strings fiddle – shanz, cymballa, harps and indigenous trumpets.  Their performances are highly professional but retain the authenticity and traditions of nomadic culture and nomadic art originated from nomadic psychology, nomadic recognition and nomadic relationship.  The music of Mongolia expresses vastness, freedom and life in harmony with nature and the environment. The melody is mainly, cheerful, vivid, inspirational, mighty to show the characteristic of cavalries and as well as lyrical, peaceful, serene, joyous sounding is to show the happy and delightful life od steppe nomads.   

Mongolian Folklore Concert is the most successful and surviving folk art in modern society, therefore, Mongolian folklore music groups and ensembles are invited by foreigners and they travel all over the world: even they performed at the World Music Center in New York, Buckingham Palace in the UK, UNESCO scenes, Asia Olimpic Games Opening ceremony and so on..  

When you visit to Mongolia, Don’t miss the chance to enjoy Folklore Concert. You will like it and you will be surprised.  

Narrated by Blue Mongolia team. 

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