Inner Mongolia: Futuristic landscape drumming with tradition
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Inner Mongolia: Futuristic landscape drumming with tradition

Updated: 2015-07-03 14:04:25

( By Andrew Ancheta )

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Unlike the Chinese opera, Mongolian music is thunderous and stentorian, like a drumming herd of horses.  [Photo/]

These accounts rather lowered my expectations, and I mentally prepared myself for the dismal scenery of smaller Chinese cities: struggling trees and rows of identical shoebox apartments, probably beneath a choking sulphur haze.

So it was more than a small shock to disembark beneath a cloudless cerulean sky, in an airy, aesthetic, modern city. The center of Hohhot was full of trees and well-tended parks, with many solar panels in evidence. After the grey pall of Beijing's toxic sky—the AQI was over 200-- the sudden color was like Dorothy landing in Oz.

The cityscape itself was also a surprise. Theroux's dreary garrison town is now a riot of inventive architecture and crazy designs. One of the most futuristic constructions is the theatre of the Inner Mongolia Art Troupe, a spaceship-like building that looks like it could have been hallucinated in one of Coleridge’s narcotic fantasies. Inside, we were introduced to three of the culture center's nine professional troupes: a classical orchestra, an A Capella chorus and an ensemble of traditional Mongolian instruments.

Related:Inner Mongolia: Land ethnic, religious harmony

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