Bend it like Mongolians

Mongolian contortion artists Maralgoo Tulgabold and Ankhzaya Tserendagra PHOTO: Richard Springorum

GETTING out of awkward situations has never been a problem for super flexible Mongolian contortionists Maralgoo Tulgabold and Ankhzaya Tserendagra.

They have been performing to circus audiences for a decade.

I met them at the circus grounds in Richards Bay to learn more about their lives in the big top.

The pair were put through a series of tests at the age of four and scored high marks in the ‘flexibility department’ before undergoing rigorous training on how to manipulate their bodies.

‘It has always been a dream of ours as little girls to perform in the circus.

‘We get to see the world, showcase our skills on an international stage, meet all kinds of interesting people and make lifelong memories,’said Tserendagra (19).

During their performances, the duo present a five minute floor and bar routine.

They are relative ‘newbies’ in the circus, having just four years’ experience, but in that time they have performed in Singapore, America, Turkey, Japan and Taiwan.

They train seven days a week.

‘Acts need to be short and intense to keep the audience’s attention. so we always try to improve our act and attempt new things,’ said Tulgabold (20).

The pair are super excited to be in Richards Bay for the first time and cannot wait to meet locals and experience the culture and foods that are on offer.

They say that life in the circus is not lonely, as they are all best friends and have each other for support.

In between contracts they fly home and catch up with family and their boyfriends.

‘Long distance relationships are tough, as we only see our boyfriends for short periods at a time, but we do face time and chat every day.’

Their goal is to keep working for the circus for another few years before settling down and starting families one day.

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  AUTHOR
Richard Springorum
Sport Reporter

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