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Celebrate an ancient rural culture that features throat singing and horse-head fiddles.

The Inner Mongolia Performing Arts Troupe takes the stage at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10, but students and teenagers can attend for free.

Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region within China with diverse geography and climates. But it’s best known for its sparsely populated grasslands with a nomadic culture that dates back centuries.

On its first trip to New York City, this troupe is basically an all-star team of singers, dancers, and musicians selected by China’s Inner Mongolia Bureau of National Art Troupes. They have won more than 200 international and domestic awards for their performances. (The Bureau of National Arts Troupes is the only comprehensive artistic institution directly supported by the autonomous region’s government. It strives to maintain time-honored Mongolian traditions, but it also encourages artists to be creative and develop new styles.)

The audience can expect to hear “khoomei,” a form of overtone throat singing that consists of reproducing sounds of nature such as the wind, thunder, and the flow of water. Using lips, nasal and oral cavities, pharynx, and vocal chords, the singer creates a deep sound while adding high-pitched harmonies with his or her tongue.

The musical ensemble includes masters of the traditional horse-head fiddle, a bowed, two-stringed, trapezoid-like instrument made of wood with no animal parts, despite its name. It’s Mongolia’s national instrument, and farmers play it to camels during childbirth to relieve stress.

The high-energy dancers show the colorful and athletic choreography that developed from rituals to please deities or tell stories. They imitate a horse’s gait, do some contortion reminiscent of a snake’s movement, and display their balance with a cup dance.

Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd.

Images: Inner Mongolia Performing Arts Troupe


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