Wind from the Grassland: a Student Review


Conner McCoy, Staff Writer

This Saturday, September 13, 2015, Presbyterian College hosted “Wind from the Grassland” as a part of its Highland series of visiting musical performances. The performance featured traditional Mongolian music and dance by professional performers, many of whom were ethnic Mongolian’s from the Inner Mongolian autonomous region of China. Most of them are award-winning performers and all are well acclaimed.

Upon arriving, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I received was a treat. Both the dancing and the singing were incredible, beautiful and mesmerizing. The singing especially interested me. The Urtyn Duu is a kind of song in which the lyrics are drawn out so that a two minute long song might only have five words or less in it. Listening to it was a unique experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Also performed was Kogemei, also known as throat singing. If that sounds strange to you, let me be the first to say that it is, at first. But once you realize what’s happening…. Wow! It’s amazing. The singer simultaneously produces two different notes by using his throat and mouth separately to make them. The result is jaw-dropping.

The dancing, like the singing, was graceful and beautiful. The dancers moved around the stage sometimes gracefully, sometimes sporadically but always with a certain flow that demonstrated their obvious mastery of their craft. One dance was a duet in which the two dancers complimented each other perfectly, both waving their arms and moving around the stage sometimes mirroring each other in perfect sync, sometimes doing the inverse of the other. All and all, it was an incredible piece of choreography.

While “Wind in the Grassland” won’t be back at PC this year, the group does travel and, if you’re lucky enough to be near their next venue, I would highly recommend making the trip. It’s worth it.