This ethnographic research proposes an introduction to the performance art form Mongolian contortion by examining its theories and functions before and after the establishment of the Mongolian State Circus in 1941.
Through qualitative research methods it further investigates different repercussions that lead to the transformation and decline of Traditional Mongolian Contortion in Mongolia and the West in recent years. By examining the genesis and history of body flexibility prior to the establishment of the Mongolian State Circus, it explores parallels between Mongolian folk dance and folk acrobatics and the establishment of Mongolian contortion as the international “brand” we know today. It discusses the categorization of different styles within Mongolian contortion, discovers the development of aesthetics and how religious symbolism is incorporated in contortion performances.
Lastly, it examines the numerous challenges contortionists with traditional aesthetics and presentations, a style referred to in this paper as Traditional Mongolian Contortion, face and proposes solutions for the safeguarding of this art form.
By Mariam Ala-Rashi
Edited by Thom Wall
This is an in-house physical/archival copy of Mongolian Contortion: an ethnographic inquiry, which was released as an eBook on January 2, 2021.
101 pages, saddle stitch (200GSM cardstock cover, color interior, staple binding)
Some shipments may be sent flat (bound, but unfolded) to avoid international “parcel” rates.