DREAM BRIDGEjourney into the land of dreams
inspired by the poetry of Oleh Lysheha
WHERE AND WHEN:
The core text of "Dream Bridge" is the poem "Dream" by Ukrainian poet Oleh Lysheha and its English translation by Virlana Tkacz and American poet Wanda Phipps. Oleh Lysheha is acknowledged by many to be the best contemporary poet in Ukraine, a "poet's poet." In 2000, he was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for his book published by Harvard University Press. For their translations, Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps have won numerous awards and prizes, including the coveted National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Translation Fellowship.
Virlana Tkacz, creator of "Dream Bridge," writes, "For several years, I have been interested in creating a piece based on dreams. Our dreams can bring to light the mystery which swirls silently inside. At night, our brains, freed of their burdens, soar like music. Space turns fluid, as we swim through the universe and through time: into our past and even the future. Dreams become bridges into our childhood, where we can find answers to life-long questions, or stumble upon new enigmas."
Last July, Yara worked in Kyrgyzstan to create the first draft of Dream Bridge and continued to develop the project this March in Kyiv. Pictures from the production in Kyiv
The play's company includes Watoku Ueno, recipient of NEA/TCG design fellowship and the current NYSCA design commission, Yara artists Andrew Colteaux, Brian Dolphin, Christopher Ignacio, and Kat Yew, Kyrgyz actors Kenzhegul Satybaldieva and Ainura Kachkynbek kyzy and musician Nurbek Serkebaev, who performs on traditional Kyrgyz instruments. The production received the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund grant from ART/NY for projections by Mikhail Shraga, last year's Innovative Theatre Award nominee.
Oleh Lysheha's poetry has been central to several of Yara Arts Group's productions. In 2003, Yara staged his poem "Swan" at La MaMa and at Harvard. Dzvinka Matiash, a critic of Komentar, wrote, "The production of 'Swan' is a virtuoso translation of Lysheha's text – it is not simply a literary translation into English, but rather a translation of poetry into the languages of music, light, image, movement of the human body, human voice (that can sound sharp, hoarse, strained, tired, lonely), and of course, stage space… This is what art should be like – in the glare of the stage lights you suddenly see the essence." Last spring, Yara created a new theater piece based on Oleh Lysheha's poem "Raven." NYTheatre.com (Amy Lee Pearsall) wrote, "'Raven' incites this ensemble to glorious flight. The path flown by 'Raven' is, by turns, intoxicating in both its simplicity and complexity. I encourage you to follow where it leads."
Virlana Tkacz, director of this piece, is the founding director of Yara Arts Group and has created twenty two original theater pieces with the company, all of which had their American premieres at La MaMa in New York. The Village Voice described Yara's production of "Circle" as "stunningly beautiful work that rushes at your senses, makes your heart pound, and shakes your feelings loose." Off-Off Online (Michael Bettencourt) labeled Yara's "Scythian Stones," with the world renowned Ukrainian singer Nina Matvienko and Kyrgyz artists, "Pick of the Week" and wrote, "The performance builds what good theatre should always build: an alternate world that allows us to re-learn and reflect upon the great questions at the core of our being human."
Yara Arts Group, founded in 1990, is a resident company o La MaMa Theater in New York. The troupe transforms original material into experimental theater productions in a signature style that uses multilingual dialogue and music supported by evocative visuals and projections. Timely issues are explored through the diverse cultural perspectives of the group's members, bringing together poetry, song, historical materials and scientific texts, primarily from the East, to form what one critic described as "extended meditation on an idea." The company has created eleven pieces based on materials from Ukraine and Eastern Europe, six theater pieces with Buryat artists from Siberia, three with artists from Kyrgyzstan and two based on Japanese material.
"Dream Bridge" is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Culture, The Coca Cola Company, Self-Reliance (NY) F.C.U. Ukrainian National F.C.U., the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund grant from ART/NY and friends of Yara Arts Group.Dream Bridge in Kyiv March, 2012 | Kyiv photos | more Kyiv photos
in Bishkek | Bishkek photos Virlana on Oleh Lysheha & Dream Bridge
poem "Dream" by Oleh Lysheha, translated by Virlana Tkacz & Wanda Phipps
Yara Arts Group
306 East 11th St., #3B
New York, NY 10003 USA
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