Mongolian National Circus hopes to attract young people with brand new performances

Trans. by B.DULGUUN


In just six months, Mongolian circus troupes have demonstrated their outstanding skills and talent by winning two silver medals and three golden cups from international circus festivals, including the World Festival of Circus Art IDOL-2015, International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo and Figueres International Circus Festival.

“Five Cup Performances”, a special show, was live broadcasted throughout Mongolia last Saturday to show the prize winning acts and promote the Mongolian National Circus.

Marketing manager of the Mongolian National Circus A.Tsatsral gave an interview about Mongolia’s circus recent achievements and “World Circus in Mongolia 2016″ international circus artists’ joint show, which is scheduled to be performed from March 26 to April 10.


Shall we start the interview from the history and achievements of Mongolian circus troupes?


It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Mongolian National Circus is the sole organization running as a private arts institution since 2006. Circus acts require many years of practice and effort. You need to train three to five years to barely manage to stand on your hands and develop adequate flexibility. There’s also acrobatics. Not anyone can do four or five spins midair.

A considerable amount of time was spent to stabilize and guide circus arts in the correct direction after the privatization of the Mongolian National Circus in 2008. The benefits of privatization started to show from 2009. In general, the development of an art form is displayed through achievements in domestic and international competitions. In this sense, the Mongolian National Circus is promoting the nation remarkably. Last year, for example, our troupes successfully participated in two large circus festivals.

Mongolian circus troupes won silver medals from Russia’s World Festival of Circus Art IDOL-2015 and China’s Wuqiao International Circus Festival with swing and jumping acrobatic performances. The first two editions of these competitions didn’t have a Mongolian judge and it might have lowered our scores. In January 2016, our circus troupe took part in the Figueres International Circus Festival and Director of the Mongolian Circus Development Center N.Erdene sat at the panel of judges for the first time. Mongolia finally won a gold medal after losing points for so many years and caused a world sensation. A month later, they won the Golden Elephant prize at the 5th International Circus Festival with another swing acrobatic performance.

On their way back to Mongolia, the Mongolian troupe earned their third gold medal from the International Festival of Circus Art, held in Izhevsk, Russia. Although this festival isn’t ranked as high as the Figueres and Idol International Circus Festivals, it is also quite a large festival. These achievements indicate that Mongolia is the best at swing and jumping acrobatic performances in the world.


The Mongolian circus is well known for its contortion and performances that use heavy weights. Can it be said that now, it’s popular for its jumping acrobats?


One act lasts for three to five minutes. Jumping off of a springboard isn’t that easy. No one else in the world can do the jumping acts our troupes do. That’s what makes Mongolia the best at circus performances. Mongolia has broken three or four world records with this act. The whole world has recognized Mongolian circus performers’ skills. At the latest festival, a female newcomer did eight spins midair and broke the world record.


“World Circus in Mongolia” will be showcased for the third time this year. The public is eager to see the performances as they will feature animals from warm climates. Can you briefly talk about the performances?


That’s right, the competition is being organized for the third year. Animal-related issues emerged before we discussed “World Circus in Mongolia”. The Mongolian National Circus became an animal-friendly organization that doesn’t force animals to perform from 2007. This title was given by the World Animal Protection. A major change in the Mongolian circus arts was made in 2006 and 2007 when animals were disallowed from circus performances.

Currently, many countries have stopped using animals. Circuses that tame and train animals have become rare. Even a famous Russian circus in Moscow has stopped animal acts. It would be a different story if Mongolia had a zoo. As confining animals in cages in a dark room and whipping them in front of the audience is considered to be cruel, the whole world is stopping circus acts performed by animals. Accordingly, Mongolia stopped using animals for circus performances in 2007. Mongolia set the foundation for developing as an academic circus that demonstrates the wonders of the human body and mind through contortion and acrobatic acts. Not to mention, the Mongolian National Circus building is located at the city center. It’s prohibited to have animals at the city center of any country.

We will bring animals for the upcoming circus performances as the theme is “World Circus”.  Only animals that can’t be seen in Mongolia will be brought. Bringing animals causes a lot of problems, but we will resolve them and feature lions, lamas, seals and monkeys in performances. The animals are on their way here.


The animals will arrive soon. Where will they be kept?


The circus has prepared an area next to the circus building. Lions live in warm countries so their habitat will have to be constantly heated. We have to resolve their food as well. To be frank, the animals seem to eat more luxurious food than we do. They also need vitamins and injections. The circus was able to get passed these issues thanks to our sponsors.


Is it true that this year’s “World Circus in Mongolia” will show completely new performances?


One principle of “World Circus in Mongolia” is that it must be unique and not repeat acts. In other words, the circus mustn’t do previous years’ performances or acts similar to them. The second principle is that circus performers must have won prizes and awards from international competitions, meaning that circus troupes that will take part in the upcoming event will be internationally recognized performers just like Mongolian National Circus performers. We have invited foreign famous circus troupes.

The main surprise will be lions. Mongolians, especially children, love lions.

Tickets are already being sold. We mustn’t forget the fact that we’re able to do “World Circus in Mongolia” because we have sponsors. Inviting international circus troupes costs considerably high, which includes costs for travel, accommodation and food. Sponsors and the Mongolian National Circus have covered their costs. Audiences will be able to get a glimpse of a major joint circus performance of famous performers this year.


How much do tickets for “World Circus in Mongolia” cost?


Tickets will cost 15,000 MNT to 25,000 MNT depending on the seating location. Performances can be seen well from anywhere as the circus hall is round-shaped.


The government support for Mongolian national arts and culture has improved over the years. How is it for the circus?


The number of circus performers and interesting acts has increased in relation to rapid recovery in the circus sector in recent years. The livelihood of performers has also improved. As a young person, I believe that Mongolia should focus on developing national sectors based on people such as the circus, music industry and arts sector instead of chasing after mining.

If the state doesn’t financially support, it should at least provide arts and cultural education to children and support the future of the circus and arts sector. I’d like to recommend the public to watch circus performances at least three times a year. Please let children watch circus acts. This will be greatly significant for your child. Many people come to see “World Circus in Mongolia”. This is good. We have to support creations and productions of Mongolia circus troupes.


The best circus troupes from 15 countries will perform at “World Circus in Mongolia”. What will the Mongolian circus troupe show? Have they finished preparing?


Over 70 circus performers from 15 countries will participate. The Mongolian circus troupe that won a gold cup and the best female circus performer of 2015 will perform air gymnastics. Our national performers will have to show a splendid performance and be unique from other performers. I’m absolutely confident that our performers will be able to shine from among all the talented performers. In particular, they will completely outshine international performers in the air gymnastics category.


Can you share future plans of the Mongolian National Circus?


We’ve started to annually host “World Circus in Mongolia” show. Next, we plan to co-organize circus shows age appropriate for people above 16 and 18 with Narnii Circus. These shows will probably be held near the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017. I can’t say anything for sure as practice and preparation work will require some time.

In general, the performances we stage right now are suitable for children above the age of eight and 10. In other words, they are dedicated for children. The international circus trends are shifting towards 16+ and 18+ acts. As the sector is mainly developing towards dramatic acts with a meaning, we have no choice but to keep up with the pace and make this type of circus productions. We plan to invite foreign circus directors. People probably have noticed that circus performances have drastically changed in the past few years. Mongolian circus troupes initiated 16+ and 18+ contents so that young people in Mongolia who pay to watch foreign films would become interested in Mongolian and national contents.

Additionally, a contortion festival will be held in august to attract tourists to Mongolia.


How do you envision the future of the Mongolian circus industry?


Of course I imagine it to be bright and full of hope. The achievements made in the circus sector in the last five years are directly connected to Director of the Mongolian National Circus D.Purevbadam. He has supported circus performers in every way as if they were his own children. The circus has managed to make achievements at international competitions and festivals, and collaborate with Narnii Circus. Producer N.Erdene has also become a judge at an international festival and this will become a huge advantage. The world has started to recognize Mongolian circus troupes’ skills and talents. Basically, few countries define the Asian circus industry, including the Republic of Korea, China and Mongolia. Mongolian circus performers have the potential to outshine South Korea and China in the future. This is precisely why the future is bright.


Source: mminfo.mn


Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=18919

Posted by on Mar 21 2016. Filed under Prime Interview. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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