journey into the land of dreams
inspired by the poetry of Oleh Lysheha
created by Virlana Tkacz
with Yara Arts Group, Ukrainian and Kyrgyz artists
April 26 - May 13, 2012
La MaMa E.T.C. New York
March 27, 2012
Pasika Theatre Center, Kyiv
March 30 & April 2,
KurbasTheatre Center, Kyiv
PRESS in New York
BRIDGE ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
“This new experimental production created by Yara continues the company’s work with Oleh Lysheha’s poetry: Dream Bridge is based on his poem ‘Dream” and is full of dreams:
“River.. rock.. mother washes dishes.. summer.. evening.. lips stained with blackberries.. a pregnant pike under the bridge..” At first glance, these are snapshots from the past that make the heart ache, and which occur in the dreams of hundreds of thousands of people on earth. Variations have been dreamt in America, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and probably even in Shakespeare’s England. Actors from America, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine take part in this theatre piece and their voices and languages blend organically in this authentic multilingual piece. Oleh Lysheha personifies “the idea of the wild, of wilderness” as the opposite of “the tamed and the domesticated” and this resonates with “idea of the authentic.” Oleh Lysheha’s search for the authentic coincides with Virlana Tkacz’s.
The poet considers contact as an important nexus of the body and the spirit, when thought and touch come together and a spark ignites between the two. His ability to capture the primordial and the originality of the seemingly trivial is unique, and in this his interests again coincide with those of Virlana Tkacz. The production is very visual and highly effective with fine performances by Andrew Colteaux, Brian Dolphin, Christopher Ignacio, Olha Shuhan, Ainura Kachkynbek kyzy, Kenzhegul Satybaldieva, and Kat Yew. The music was created by Alla Zahaykevych and Nurbek Serkebaev, the design is by Watoku Ueno, the projections and graphics by Mikhail Shraga and Waldemart Klyuzko. The translations are by Virlana Tkacz, Wanda Phipps and Kenzhegul Satybaldieva.
Kateryna Kindras, Nova Hazeta (New York) May 3, 2012
YARA'S DREAM BRIDGE OPENS TO CAPACITY AUDIENCE
The plot is quite simple and straightforward -- a person fall asleep and dreams. What is told and how it is presented is where the beauty lies in this work. The opening set itself consisted of a white stage floor. To the side was a bed cum bench cum bridge, on which lies the restless Dreamer. Made from old timbers, the curves and arches of this one very solid prop made it seem to always be in motion. When the Dreamer finally did fall asleep, translucent white curtains cascaded down, outlining the stage area on three sides from ceiling to the floor and transforming it into the dream space. These curtains became an integral part of the price, providing screens for the projections, as well as the surfaces on which the stage lighting was used to great effect.
The dreams themselves consisted of short vignettes – fishing in the river, washing the dishes at home, digging potatoes, visiting his grandmother, performing a fragment o Shakespeare, jumping in the river, and others. All seemingly unconnected events, yet when taken in context of a dream, they each fit together perfectly. Adding to this completeness was the music composed by Ms. Zahaykevych. Her works of electronic music must be considered as soundscapes. Drawing her inspiration from the portrayal of emotions through sounds, she used different timbres and effects to bring forth calm and tension. At times, her music was almost unperceived in the background, adding a shimmering airiness to the events on stage. At other times, she grabbed the audience's complete attention. Nurbek Serekebaev, performing on traditional Kyrgyz instruments, added to the reality of the dream sequences.
The choreography for this work was utterly amazing. This work has to be one of the most physically demanding pieces that Ms. Tkacz has ever produced. The translucent white screens surrounding the stage on three sides permit the use of video and image projections by Mr. Shraga, which added an extra dimension to the dreams, making them seem both real and dreamlike at the same time. How does a producer present a dream on stage? Ms. Tkacz close to present the dreams as crystalline reality, the way dreams really do occur in our sleep, leaping from scene to scene, each separate and complete. This was the key to interpreting the dreams described in Lysheha's poems In the final scenes, when the Dreamer achieved a fitful sleep and the translucent curtains fell to the floor, one was left with the wonderful feeling of having had pleasant dreams, and unlike one's own dreams, remembering them.
Ihor Slabicky, The Ukrainian Weekly, July 29, 2012
FROM A CONSERVED CULTURE TO POETRY INSTALLATIONS
This is a work, the likes of which I have never seen. Yara Arts Group from the renowned La MaMa Experimental Theatre at 74 East 4th St (between 2nd Ave & Bowery) in New York presented the theatre piece Dream Bridge, created by director Virlana Tkacz. Artists from the US, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan took part in this show that crosses boundaries of genre, art, culture and language, as it engages the imagination.
The entire cast read the poems which formed the core text of the show, repeating the same lines in Ukrainian, English and Kyrgyz, listening to how the sound echoes and what rhythm results. They became convinced that Lysheha’s nocturnal poetry carried an international sense of harmony, and the images were clear in many languages.
From time to time, like an echo from beyond the mountains, one heard the voice of Olga Shuhan telling tales and singing songs. The costumes created by Ainura Asanbekova added enchantment to the characters helping to highlight their movement and their concept. Waldemart Klyuzko and Mikhal Shraga created the fantastic photo and video design of the projections delicate as moonlight which envelops in its watery depths both the memories and dreams, as well as the actual events. You step away from comparing the logic of the text as you read it printed in the program (thoughtfully provided by the producers) and unexpectedly step onto the path with the main character.
The lights fade; our hero falls asleep and dreams. You follow him into the state which we seek at night exhausted by daily troubles. A soft light illuminates the most mysterious parts of the soul. A light breeze stirs forgotten gaps in our memory, unfinished thoughts, uncompleted experiences.
Splashes of memories swim off as fish on the waves of the past. If only one could gather them… They quiver like reflections on water… Something echoes in our memory? the heart stirs… Mother… mother… dark circles under her eyes.. thin finger held to her lips… A maybug? Hold it your hand… to your ear… like a radio…
Mother why don’t fish speak? Fish speak… do you know where songs come from? Fish? Fish sing? Fish sing…. A warm light illuminates something beautiful and delicate…. Fleeting images kaleidoscopically replace one another… bringing to the surface more outlines, more events… Sleep, my son… In the seas and the great rivers…
The show ends. The audience members exit with lit faces, hushed. The production has stirred something private in each of them… I ask if she plans to do poetry once again. Virlana answers with a smile, “I think I have found my poet.”
by Nadia Burmaka MEEST (US and Canada) May 24-30, 2012
PRESS in Kyiv
LES KURBAS’S DESCENDANTS
In Kyiv there was a large international conference “Les Kurbas in the World Theatre Context.” This event was organized by the Les Kurbas National Theatre Center to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the birth of this great Ukrainian theatre director…. The American theatre director and researcher Virlana Tkacz, who often comes to Ukraine and creates her theatre projects here, includes in her work the theories of Les Kurbas. Her production of Dream Bridge, which was shown at the conference, is woven out of the poetry of Oleh Lysheha and is a journey into the world of dreams and fantasies.
Iryna Chuzhynova, Den (Kyiv’s major newspaper) April 12, 2012
Dream Bridge in New York - April 27 -May 13, 2012
photos from La MaMa
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