Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mongolia | Zaisan Tolgoi | Lady GaGa

Spent an afternoon holed up in my hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi watching the rain clouds blow over Bogd Khan Mountain as I drank Shan Ling Xi Ooolong Tea and listened to Lady GaGa. I’m thinking she is a reincarnation of a Tokharian Caravanserai Singer I once heard.

As so often happens when I drink Shan Ling Xi Oolong Tea on rainy afternoons my thoughts soon drifted to Kuchean Dancers:
A rigorous, twirling dance, the Sogdian Whirl was usually performed on a colorful felt carpet. The dance took the Tang Capital of Xian by storm. Not only the emperor, but his favorite concubine, the infamous Yang Guifei—along with her "favorite," the 400 pound Sogdian-Turk An Lushan—could perform this exotic dance, snacking on Lychees from Canton and sipping grape wine out of Roman cut glass goblets, all night long. There were Sogdian dances danced to Persian melodies, played on Persian lutes and harps, Indian dances and music and those from the Northern steppes and Korea. Without a doubt, most famous of all the Tang dances was the music and dance of Kucha.
I should point out the Sogdian Whirl, popular during the Tang Dynasty in the 8th century, was updated as The Locomotion in 1962 by Little Eva.