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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 12, 2011

Hancher to present Mongolian folk music masters AnDa Union on Oct. 27 at Englert

The University of Iowa's Hancher will present AnDa Union on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City. AnDa Union is known for playing traditional Mongolian folk music, combining styles passed down for generations in Inner and Outer Mongolia.

AnDa Union is one of few organized musical groups from Inner Mongolia. Its members describe themselves as music gatherers, reviving traditions and instrumentation forgotten because of the country's strained history. They are dedicated to keep the legacy of their culture, language, and musical traditions alive through their performances—eager to educate young Mongols about their nation's strong cultural roots.

Comprised of musicians from all over Mongolia, AnDa Union has created an innovative blend of musical styles from around the country. The group was officially formed in 2003, but many members have been playing music together since childhood. The group uses traditional Mongolian instruments and techniques such as the hoomai (guttural throat song) and the morin huur (the horse head fiddle), which pays homage to the most important animal in Mongol culture. While their music is rarely heard in the U.S., it is very accessible to new audiences, full of tuneful melodies, and a rhythmic drive.

These young musicians are the subject of a documentary called "From the Steppes to the City," which celebrates their passion for their music and culture. The film shows the contrast between the two worlds that make up these musicians lives: the traditional nomadic life on the Mongolian grasslands, where they continue to learn about the rich history of their music and the rapidly changing environment in the country; to the harsh realities of the modern city, where modern living shapes their music in new ways for a contemporary audience. The film will premiere in October at the London Film Festival.

AnDa Union will hold a throat singing workshop and mini performance on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 3-4 p.m. in Room 1117 of the University Capitol Center. This workshop is in collaboration with the UI Confucius Institute and International Programs.

There will be a pre-performance discussion in the Douglas and Linda Paul Gallery on the second floor of the Englert Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. with From the Steppes to the City producers and directors Tim Pearce and Sophie Lascelles. Limited seating is available.

On Friday, Oct. 28, WorldCanvass Studio, a program of UI International Programs, will feature AnDa Union. The show will be recorded before a live audience at noon in Room 2780 of the University Capitol Center. For more information about WorldCanvass, visit

"From the Steppes to the City" will be shown at the Bijou Theatre in the IMU on Friday, Oct. 28 at 9:30 p.m. with opening remarks from Pearce. The film will also be shown on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. All showings are free and open to the public.

The performance is supported by the Ministry of Culture, People's Republic of China, the Hancher Partners, and gifts to Hancher Circle through the UI Foundation.

Tickets are $35/30; college student $31.50/10; senior citizen $31.50/27; youth $17.50/15 from the Hancher Box Office.

The Hancher Box Office, located on the first floor of the south end of the Old Capitol Mall near the parking ramp, is open for phone (319-335-1160 or 800-HANCHER) or walk-up business from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Tickets may be ordered online at Any remaining tickets will be available for sale one hour before show time at the Englert Theatre.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rob Cline, Hancher, 319-335-3827,; Steve Parrott, University News Services, 319-384-0037,