From September 21 to 25, contemporary dance company Northwest Dance Project (NWDP) completed its first-ever tour in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In partnership with the Arts Council of Mongolia (ACM) and with funding from the U.S. State Department’s Arts Envoy Program and local supporting organizations, the Embassy co-organized a tour that included performance and workshops. The Arts Envoy Program is a selective program that aims to “share the best of the U.S. community with the world to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.”
NWDP opened their tour by conducting workshops and master classes for Mongolian dancers from the State Opera and Ballet Theatre, as well as over 100 young dancers from local dance troupes. Visiting NWDP lighting and staging professionals led trainings focused on stage lighting design and stage management for more than 50 professional engineers/designers. The visiting company from NWDP included 8 dancers and 3 production crew members, as well as artistic director Sarah Slipper.
On September 25, NWDP delivered its feature performance, “American Contemporary Dance Night,” at the Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet. The performance highlighted works from emerging choreographers, including Lucas Crandall’s ldquo;Blue,” Sarah Slipper’s “Memory House,” Jirí Pokorný’s “At Some Hour You Return,” and Ihsan Rustem’s “Mother Tongue.”
“We were thrilled to program Northwest Dance Company because their artistic knowledge, unique signature pieces and cultural diversity connect well with the Mongolian audience and members of the professional art community. The tour was an eye-opening cultural and learning experience for Mongolians and NWDP alike,” said ACM Arts Program Director Nomintuya Baasankhuu.