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Kenzhegul Satybaldieva sings to an eagle during research tirp
photo by Margaret Morton

Susan Hyon and Kenzhegul Satybaldieva
photo by Margaret Morton

Kenzhegul Satybaldieva
photo by Margaret Morton

Kenzhegul Satybaldieva and Susan Hyon
photo by Margaret Morton

Janyl kills all invading warriors
Baktykul Dzanybekov, Ilgis Zhunusov and Munarbek Alibaev
photo by Margaret Morton

The brothers celebrate stealing Janyl's heard
photo by Margaret Morton

Kenzhegul Satybaldieva and Ilgis Zhunusov
photo by Jonathan Slaff

Janyl kills her love
Ilgis Zhunusov and Susan Hyon
photo by Margaret Morton

Women mourn the death of the brothers
Kenzhegul Satybaldieva, Asel Maamytova, and Shigeko Sara Suga
photo by Margaret Morton

Father demands the council revenge the death of the brothers
Omurzak Kaiypov in front
with Munarbek Alibaev, Ilgis Zhunusov and Baktykul Dzanybekov in back
photo by Margaret Morton

Akochkor sets out on the magic horse
Ilgis Zhunusov
photo by Margaret Morton

The council receives a bone Janyl held
Munarbek Alibaev
photo by Margaret Morton

Janyl is made to marry Kalmatay
Baktykul Dzanybekov, Susan Hyon and Kenzhegul Satybaldieva
photo by Margaret Morton

Janyl becomes Kalmatay's wife
Kenzhegul Satybaldieva and Susan Hyon
photo by Margaret Morton

Baktykul Dzhanybekov and Kenzhegul Satybaldieva
photo by Margaret Morton

Kenzhegul Satybaldieva
photo by Margaret Morton

Susan Hyon and Kenzhegul Satybaldieva
photo by Margaret Morton

Kenzhegul Satybaldieva and Susan Hyon
photo by Margaret Morton

Janyl rides off to her heavenly horses and Celestial Mountains
Susan Hyon, Baktykul Dzanybekov, Kenzhegul Satybaldieva, Munarbek Alibaev and Asel Maamytova,
photo by Margaret Morton


world music theatre piece based on a Kyrgyz epic
about a woman warrior from the Celestial Mountains
created by the artists of Yara Arts Group and the Sakhna Theatre of Bishkek
based on the Kyrgyz epic "Janyl Myrza" as told by Ibraim Abdyrakhmanov

directed by Virlana Tkacz, designed by Watoku Ueno
movement by Shigeko Sara Suga, photography by Margaret Morton,
video by Andrea Odezynska, translation by Roza Mukasheva,
Virlana Tkacz & Wanda Phipps, tech & projeciton: Damir Nasybullin
produciton manager & press: Altyn Kapalova,
asst director: Rakhat Eshimbekova, stage manager: Begaim Turumbekova

with: Kenzhegul Satybaldieva, Susan Hyon, Baktykul Dzhanibekov,
Munarbek Alibaev, Ilgis Zhunusov, Myrambek Borbogoev, Asel Maamytova,
Alymkan Abdykadyrova, Tilek Kasymaliev, Azamat Serkebaev, Nurbek Serkebaev,
and featuring the dastanchi Omurzak Kaypov

August 9-12, 2007 B’Art Center in Bishkek
August 17-18 at the Dramatic Theatre in Naryn
and August 20-21 at the Culture Club in the village of Kara Su
for the Koshoi Korgon Festival


Aleksandr Shepelenko,

"The title role is performed by two women simultaneous – Kenzhegul Satybaldieva and Susan Hyon, one speaks Kyrgyz, the other English. This unusual directorial choice allows very different audience members to understand the ancient epic. It brings together two absolutely different cultures: Kyrgyz and American, the East and the West."

Iulia Sushkova, August 14, 2007

“The time flew by. The American actress shot from a bow and spoke English, our actors answered in Kyrgyz. They understood each other through gestures, moment, music and glances. The majority of actors were from the Sakhna Theatre (nine of them), Susan Hyon was from La MaMa, and she started the show. Mesmerized, she sat in the spotlight her, hands working away in an unusually expressive way.

In the dark to the side sat an epic story teller and musicians in traditional robes. Throughout the theatre piece they sang, and played on ancient instruments. But you can’t say that the 18th century, during which Janyl Myrza gained fame, was recreated here. This theatre piece is experimental…

The role of Janyl Myrza, was played not only by Susan. The role of sharp shooter was also uniquely portrayed by our actress Kenzhegul Satybaldieva. Together they repeat the same phrases, each in their own languages, together they drew the bow. Although in reality there were no real objects on stage, they only appeared to be there. The traditional costumes were authentic, but Susan wore a pretty orange dress fashionable today. Naryn audience will be able to see this very successful experiment August 17 and 18, while the villagers of Kara Suu can see it August 20 -21 when it will be a part of the Koshoi Korgon Festival."

Ajybek Kasymaliev, Governor of Naryn

“The Janyl Myrza theatre production, based on the Kyrgyz epic, is a great contribution to Kyrgyz art. A hero from the past was brought to life through the use of technology from the twenty-first century. The director and the actors of the piece presented a new interpretation of the show which fascinated the audience. We must consider this a fundamental work of art not simply in terms of Kyrgyzstan, but for all of Central Asia. Here the past and the present are brought together, as well as two nations.”

For more pictures and information on Yara's Janyl

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Photos on this page by Margaret Morton and Jonathan Slaff Copyright (c)2007 Yara Arts Group; all rights reserved.

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