Blossoming Nomads-Contortionist girls changing the world

Local news, 03.05.2021

“I’ve come across a historical document that says a contortion performance used to be held at the Saran Khukhuu Theater, founded by the famous Mongolian enlightener Danzanravjaa in the 18th century. Considering that it had already become an art form in the 18th century, we see contortionism as a part of Mongolian cultural heritage that has existed and developed in Mongolia through the ages. 

Contortionist girls of Bulgan province
Contortionist girls of Bulgan province ©SDC

 Now the world is globalized, and contortion is developing in every corner of the world. There have been concerns that the Mongolian origins of this heritage may fade or dim in the future. Therefore, the cultural workers of Bulgan Province decided to preserve, pass on, and spread this heritage with a goal to develop it” said teacher Enkhtuya.

Initially, the Bulgan Cultural Center started training for over 300 children. Over the time, many children quit the training again, because it was too demanding for them. Contortion is an art that requires a lot of patience, perseverance, and endurance. But the instructors, didn’t give up and worked hard, and continued to teach and spread contortion to a small number of children. In their province they have not professional teachers or schools that train or educate this sport-art. Contortion is simply a person’s innate talent, patience, and persistent training combined with the unique flexibility of a Mongolian. “Therefore, we invited teachers from Ulaanbaatar who had developed contortion for many years to come work with us, and they trained our own dance teacher. As a result, they reached a level where they were able to demonstrate contortion,” added the teacher Enkhtuya.

Although the number of students was small, the children worked hard, overcame every challenge, trained persistently, and fell in love with the art of contortion. They now have their own repertoire, and participate in various competitions, as for example, in the television show “Mongolia’s Got Talent”. The Cultural Center and teachers sought ways to further develop and promote the contortionists, make them popular, and have an influence on other children.

Here, SDC joined hand with them and supported the Blossoming Nomads project, a documentary about these girls and their mastery of contortion skills, what obstacles they had to overcome, but also, what they have achieved, and finally about their dreams. The Cultural Center distributed the video to all 21 provinces and 333 soums in Mongolia. Positive changes occurred because of implementing the Blossoming Nomads project.

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