Experience Mongolian song and dance in Brandon on Wednesday

BRANDON — The vast steppe of northern China has nurtured a brilliant and unpretentious grassland culture including the arts of the nomadic “horseback people” who reside on the steppes.
Students and teachers from the Art College of Inner Mongolia University, a college devoted to the preservation of the unique treasures of this nomadic culture, will bring their arts to life in a performance at Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be the first venture into Vermont for this outstanding ensemble.
The brilliant, colorful costumes, exotic dance, and unusual and unique instrumental and vocal sounds will captivate audience members of all ages. Young girls will leave mimicking the dance moves and people will be trying to figure out how the sounds coming out of the throat singer’s mouths are possible!
The program will include Mongolian throat singing (Hoomei), which is described as “one of the world’s most amazing art forms because of its overtone singing, where the vocalist utters two simultaneous voice parts by tightening the larynx.” College students Tamier and Aogen will demonstrate, mixing high and low pitches that imitate natural sounds.
The musical expression of the vastness, stillness and solitude of the grasslands will be communicated in Mongolian long tone singing by Art College Professor Ms. Menggensudu. Mongolian long tone singing, recognized by UNESCO with the title “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,” requires the singer to have a marvelous voice with an extraordinarily wide range because the melodies reflect the spirit of the vast grasslands
Horses play a vital role in Mongolian people’s lives and are viewed as creatures with honest and noble temperaments. The horse head fiddle is named for the elaborately carved horse-head on top of the instrument’s neck. The strings of the fiddle are made with braided horsehair, as are the fibers of the bow. It is said, “the melodious horse-head fiddle music is more expressive and appropriate in depicting and recalling life on the grassland than a painting.” The performance of four fiddlers in this group — Bao Qinggele, Yideri, Dai Qingsong and Qilemoge — will transport you to the grasslands where you will hear and feel the thunder of galloping horses.
Moving is the essence of nomadic culture, which finds expression in the people’s souls and in their body movements. The art of Mongolian dance is the best interpretation of the rhythm of life. Mongolian folk dance is closely related to their nomadic lifestyle of hunting and religious belief in sacrifices and rituals. The dances performed by the eight female dancers in this ensemble will clearly show the Mongolian people’s passion for life and the pursuit of happiness.
Admission to Wednesday’s event is free, though contributions to the “Maple Scholarship for Arts Education” will be cheerfully accepted.

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