"I fell hard for Yara Arts Group in 2000 when I saw Circle, their nearly hallucinogenic Buryat Siberian wedding party. They returned to La MaMa E.T.C. in March with an earthier new work, Howling, based in Mongolia's shamanic legends and rendered in lyrical and overtone singing; folk, ritual, and contemporary dance movement; and video. A young hunter (resonant-voiced Eunice Wong) slays a wolf only to find herself forced to endure initiatory trials. Attacked by her prey, then goaded to run to the point of exhaustion, and finally rebirthed by and mated with a wolf, she sparks her own Inner Wolf, reconciling with her true clan. Sometimes the troupe stepped in and out of mythic time; a trio of witty American homegirls boogied down to the roar of frame drums, alternately floating on a folksinger's liquid melody. At the end, the video screen suddenly filled with silhouettes of real wolves loping over snow, and my eyes filled with tears."
Reviewed by HiDrama TV show
April 12, 2002 "One of the more exotic and satisfying programs that I've recently seen was at La MaMa from Yara Arts Group and actors from the Buryat Republic called Howling. It's a tale of Siberian wolf spirits who inhabit this woman and she has to be cured of them by a shamanistic ritual. It mixes the modern and the ancient world. It's very evocative without being absolutely specific and includes Buryat throat-singing, folk songs from that region, Mongolia and other places. It was really very, very exciting and different from anything that I had ever seen. The shaman ritual with the man wearing the wolf clothing and practically making love to the woman was really exciting. I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure 100% of all the action, but I liked it."
Yara Arts Group
306 East 11th St., #3B
New York, NY 10003 USA
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