Traditional Performance

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Mongolia’s tradional arts of long songs, throat singing, horse-head fiddle playing, and Mongolian folk dance have been registered with UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

It is impossible to separate the nature of Mongolian identity and feelings from the country’s ethnic and folk dance. In the central region, Khalkha dancing focuses on the Mongolian’s noble character, ceremonial rites, respect for nature, grace, and swaying of the body. The famed contortion acrobat displays behaviors and body moments of the sacred deities as if jointless. Western Mongolia’s ethnic dancing mainly focuses on swift movements of the arms and chest, shoulder movements, strikes, swinging, and footwork. It is highly worthwhile to see the wonderful performances of contortion and folk dancing by young Mongolians, accompanied by horse-head fiddle playing and the singing of long songs.

Contortion art has become a classical art in Mongolia  

Listening to and learning about throat singing and long song will help you to understand the uniqueness of Mongolian identity, their relationship to nature, and their understanding of human nature. In throat singing, one can listen to and discover deep human feelings, feel a connection to nature, hear the sound of water, wind and wild animals, and see the silhouettes of mountains. The horse-head fiddle’s melodies have the magical power to fill the wide endless steppe with melodious long songs. The music has a wide, free range and deep meaning, and the power to pacify human beings and nature through glorious melodies.

This ensemble performs concerts for the guests of the capital city which honor the essence and superiority of Mongolian folk culture. This performance will take you to the peaks of the Altai Mountains soaring towards the sky, to the shores of the amazing Khuvsgul Lake and the immense land of the eastern steppes, and to see the exceptional and beautiful nature of the Southern Gobi. By coming to the performance you will become acquainted with the magnificence of Mongolian dance and see performances of long songs, throat singing, biyelgee dance, and contortion on the same stage.

Established during the reign of the Great Mongolian khans of the 13th century, the Mongolian Grand National Orchestra performs in accordance with strict order originating from ancient times. The current orchestra is unique, as it revives the music played during the state orchestral performances of the Yuan Dynasty. It can be said that melodies from the eighth century are heard when the orchestra performs. The Grand Orchestra performs during Mongolian state celebrations, ceremonies and for national diplomatic events. 

When Morin Khuur (the horse-head fiddle) is played, we can feel the vast steppe, a clear blue sky, and hear the sound of horse hooves. Foreigners may carry a wish to visit Mongolia in their dreams, but Mongolians abroad feel the emotions of being in their homeland by shedding tears. The Morin Khuur Ensemble has performed all over the world representing Mongolia on the stages of well¬ known international halls such as the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, the UNESCO Headquarters in France, Musikverein in Austria, the Palace of Nations in Switzerland, Berliner Philharmonie in Germany, and Suntory Hall in Japan. 

When Morin Khuur (the horse-head fiddle) is played, we can feel the vast steppe, a clear blue sky, and hear the sound of horse hooves. Foreigners may carry a wish to visit Mongolia in their dreams, but Mongolians abroad feel the emotions of being in their homeland by shedding tears. The Morin Khuur Ensemble has performed all over the world representing Mongolia on the stages of well-known international halls such as the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, the UNESCO Headquarters in France, Musikverein in Austria, the Palace of Nations in Switzerland, Berliner Philharmonie in Germany, and Suntory Hall in Japan

The State Philharmonic, founded in 1957, is composed of three orchestras. They are the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bayan Mongol band, and “Morin Khuur” Fiddle Ensemble. These groups play national and classical world music, as well as classical jazz, which expresses unlimited creative character.

The State Philharmonic, introduction into symphony orchestra – founded in 1957, by  People’s Artist, State prize laureate, Ts.Namsraijav. You can enjoy their concerts in the comfort of your home.

The “Bayan Mongol” Jazz Orchestra which laid the foundations for the Mongolian pop and variety arts was established by the guidance of Mongolian Honored Artistic Worker, composer, T.Chimeddorj in 1969.

The “Morin Khuur” Fiddle Ensemble was established by the resolution No.123 of the Mongolian government as of 09 July 1992. As its first opening performance was held at the State Theatre of Opera and Dancing Ensemble in 16 April 1993, a new stage in the Mongolian art’s history was opened up and since then, apart from becoming a Mongolian cultural, artistic, and traditional pride, it developed into an ensemble reputed not only our country but also worldwide. The “Morin Khuur” Fiddle Ensemble has had the wonderful experience of playing the world’s most famous compositions with a traditional Mongolian musical instrument. This band’s repertoire includes not only Bizet’s “Carmen”, but also the work of composers like Astor Piazzolla, Dave Brubeck, and Jorge Ben, who are already recognized as classic composers. 

Although people communicate with each other through a great deal of different languages, visual languages remain an important form of communication. Maybe as a result of the development of sign language, the art of puppetry came about. What do you think? If you are in Ulaanbaatar, please visit the Puppet Theater, just 800 meters southwest of Sukhbaatar Square. You have to cross only two streets to find yourself there. In this theater, international and Mongolian puppet works are presented with masks, sticks, ropes, gloves, fingers, and shadow maneuvers. Witness young children express delight, fear, and surprise as they are absorbed in the magic of these special performances.

The Mongolian Circus, which is a short walk away from the State Department Store, is open intermittently throughout the year. The building of the circus is considered the largest one in Asia. You can see awesome and exciting artistic performance that is recognized internationally.

Mongolia has an ancient history of theatrical art. The birth of Mongolia’s theatrical art can be traced to palace theaters and religious theatrical performances. In 1931, today’s State Academic Theater Opera and Ballet was first founded as the State Central Theater.

The State Academic Drama Theater, with its red-colored building of classical design is located not far from Ulaanbaatar’s central square. Famous Mongolian plays are performed on the stages of these theaters, along with world renowned operas, ballets, and plays performed by famous Mongolian and foreign artists. The repertoires of the two theaters, as well as the appearances by leading artists who perform at the world’s largest classical competitions and festivals, are evidence that Mongolia’s classical art has reached a high level today.

Ulaanbaatar was the first city in Asia to establish an opera theater. The State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet celebrated its opening on May 18, 1963, with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous opera “Eugene Onegin”. It is amazing that one year later the theater staged Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly”. The State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet performs 22 operas and 16 ballets composed by Mongolian composers like B. Damdinsuren, S. Gonchigsumlaa, D. Luvsansharav, L. Murdorj, A. Boroldoi, E. Choidog, D. Janchiv, Ts. Natsagdorj, Kh. Bilegjargal, J. Mend-Amar, Z. Khangal, B. Sharav, A. Batdelger, and G.Purevdorj. The theater has a rich repertory of over 100 performances, which includes approximately 60 of the world’s best classical operas and ballets composed by Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, Minkus, Bizet, Mozart, and more.

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