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Mongolian theater




With Mongolia's historic shift to a market economy and democratic society, the nation's approach to the arts changed. The culture and art community was not prepared to face the new trends. This brought a few years of practical collapse of the arts.
But with the changes, a new approach to national folk music, especially to the disappearing unique songs and music of Mongolian tribes, was initiated on the part of the Government of Mongolia. A project was implemented jointly with UNESCO to audially and visually document the oral music heritage of the Mongols and set up a national fund of recordings, which now resides in the National Archives. The most successful performance groups at the moment are the Tumen Ekh Ensemble (a private traditional performance group), the State Circus, which travels around the world, and the State Morin Khuur Ensemble, which has also enjoyed international and national success in recent years.

The flourishing of ballet and classic music development in the 1970s and 1980s was indeed a unique stage in the history of the national arts. Some groups that thrived during socialism are now struggling. The Symphony Orchestra, for example, only plays concerts by reservation. The Mongolian State Philharmonics, an organization founded in 1972 which was the face of Mongolian music abroad, doesn't serve the same place in the new society which encourages individual ventures.

There are three fully state-run organizations: State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Academic Theater of National Drama, and State Academic Ensemble of Folk Dance and Music. These operate regularly but are dependent on the state budget. World classics are still displayed on the Mongolian stage regularly, as well as Mongolian productions. In the summer of 2003, a new opera premiered, "Chinggis Khaan", by B. Sharav. It teslls the story of Chinggis Khaan in his youth, and weaves traditional Mongolian elements with Western classical opera.


Throughout Mongolian theater history, fairy tales, legends, romantic stories, and religious events have been expressed through music, songs, dances, and drama. This genre is rooted in the ancient Mongolian tradition of arranging noisy, crowded festivities where singing, dancing, and worshipping of Gods were central. There was royal entertainment, called Palace theater, as well as folk theater and ritual shows for the common people.
Under the domination of the Manchurian Empire, theatrical entertainment was strongly influenced by Chinese culture. There were numerous Chinese theatrical spots spread across Mongolia in those times.

From the early 1930s, through Soviet Russian influence, European theatrical art was introduced to Mongolia. Mr. A . Efremov, the student and follower of the first Soviet professor of theater K. S. Stanislavsky, personally contributed to the training of Mongolia's professional theater artists.

The State Academic Drama Theater was established in 1931 as the State Central Theater, in a building which no longer exists called "Bombogor Nogoon." Since the debuted with "Truth", over 450 national and classic pieces have been performed on its stage. From this mother organization, a number of organizations and theaters were born: the State Circus (1940), State Puppet Theater (1948), State Children and Youth Central Theater (1950), Academic Opera (1963), and the Music and Drama Theaters of Khovd, Bayan-Ulgiy and Dornod aimags.

Mongolia theater artists made their first guest tour abroad in 1933 when S. Buyannemekh's production "The Dark Nation" was performed in Moscow. Since that time, Mongolian artists have performed in China, Hungary, Germany, Korea and the Buriatia and Kalmuk Republics (Russian areas where Mongols live.) Their repertoire includes national and classic plays, including W. Shakespeare's "Othello", Sophocles' "King Edipe", E. Voinich's "Gadfly", D. Namdag's "Orolmaa", J. Shagdar's "White Mother Goddess", and S. Jargalsaikhan's "I wish men".

The Mongolian leaders H. Choibalsan and U. Tsedenbal ordered the establishment of the State Children and Youth Central Theater. The main purpose of this theater was to help educate children about the party, motherland and Stalin's and Lenin's doctrine. The theater regularly translated and performed works of the Soviet Union, and toured to all parts of the country. During its time, the theater also put on works of domestic writers and won the respect of audiences in German, Russian, and Bulgaria. In the late 1990s, the theater was privatized with management privatization, and now no longer exists.

  • The State Academic Drama Theater
  • Natinal Academic Ensemble of Folk Dance and Music
  • Mongolian State Puppet Theater
  • Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet
  • The Moving Theater 'NAURUZ'
  • Mongolian Center of IIT
  • The Mongolian Theater Museum
The State Drama Theatre of Mongolia.

The State Drama Theatre of Mongolia.

The building of the Academic Opera and Ballet Theater of Mongolia.

The building of the Academic Opera and Ballet Theater of Mongolia.

A theatrical performance. Masks of Tsam. The opening of the Naadam festival.

A theatrical performance. Masks of Tsam. The opening of the Naadam festival.

The Mongolian Ballet. Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Mongolia.

The Mongolian Ballet. Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Mongolia.



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