Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mongolia TV stars

Ulaanbaatar is an interesting mixture of the old and new. We see many people on the street wearing traditional Mongolian clothing but questions about Lady Gaga are common in our question and answer sessions. Old stark Soviet style buildings sit among more Asian influenced architecture and very modern glass high rises. Free internet access is available in many places. Mongolians have lots of quirky little customs including shaking hands with the person that you have just accidentally kicked under the table or brushed up against on the street. Kelly experienced this first hand on the street one day when someone accidentally kicked his foot.

Thursday morning the DTSB&Co dancers performed for approximately 100 dance students and teachers at the University of Art and Culture and then held a question and answer session. The performance was well received and there were many questions about Dana's choreography method and inspiration. It was nice to see some of the students from the School for the Hearing Impaired there.

The University of Arts and Culture

Miyako with embassy intern Namuun in the lobby of the main university building

Connie's solo Khaybet

Question and answer session

In the afternoon Dana taught a choreography class and Connie taught a warmup/technique class in the afternoon. Before the choreography class a Mongolian television crew interviewed Dana and then took some footage of Connie's class. When we were leaving Ulaanbaatar we actually saw the interview, class video footage and performance video we had given them on TV at the airport.

Meanwhile Laura and Sarah gave a talk about American modern dance at the American Corner, a small American style library operated jointly by the U.S. Embassy and the Ulaanbaatar Public Library that helps students, researchers, teachers and the general public learns more about the US. Laura and Sarah played a video of DTSB&Co performances and talked about his dance style and inspiration. The audience of 30, most of whom were not involved in dance, were very interested in what Laura and Sarah thought of Mongolian dance styles, what it was like to train to be a dancer and of course what they thought of Lady Gaga.

Sarah at the American Corner

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