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Hutsuls announce their arrival
with the trembitas
photos by Volodymyr Klyuzko

Rachel, soldier & Herod

Masha Pruss plays the "Death"

The Koliadnyky of Kryvorivnia

Korinya sings Malanka songs

finale with suitcase of grass



World Music Theatre piece
traditional Carpathian winter songs,
a Baroque Folk Nativity Play
& Serhiy Zhadan looks at Ukraine today

created by Yara Arts Group,
directed by Virlana Tkacz
set & lights by Watoku Ueno,
costumes: Keiko Obremski
music assembled by Julian Kytasty
script assembled by Virlana Tkacz
English translations: Virlana Tkacz & Wanda Phipps
movement by Shigeko Sara Suga
projections: Volodymyr Klyuzko
Koliada singers from the Carpathians: Mykola Ilyuk, Ostap Kostyuk, Vasyl Tymchuk, Ivan & Mykola Zelenchuk

featuring Yara artists: Nariman Asanov, Paul Brantley, Marina Celander, Julia Dobner-Pereira, Sean Eden, Asa Horvitz, Alina Kuzma, Teryn Kuzma, Maksym Lozynsky and Masha Pruss &

Korinya: Alina Kuzma, Maria Pleskevich, Roxolyana Shepko, Stefan Shepko and Zoya Shepko

December 27-28, 2014 -- La MaMa -The Ellen Stewart Theatre, New York City


"For the past few years I’ve attended Yara's winter shows, and each time I leave the theatre with the feeling that Virlana Tkacz, the well-known experimental theatre director who is deeply rooted in tradition and directs this show at LaMaMa every other year, has actually created a series made up of all her winter pieces. The main characters remain the same… but every time the roots of this eternal winter story grow more and more deep.
The image of seeds, which at the end of the show grow out of the suitcase of the refugee, reminds us that this winter ritual, a key element of Ukrainian Christmas tradition, is in reality much older in its origin and symbolism."
 When [Time played by Alina Kuzma], angered by what is happening in Bethlehem, retreats from the stage, she sings as a final argument: ‘La-la-la-la.’ And when a [Marina Celander as the Refugee] movingly proclaims ‘All of us on this earth are refugees’ – what appears before the audience is not only Bethlehem, but also [all the hotspots in the crisis in east Ukraine] Kramatorsk, Illovaisk, Pisky.” 
In this year’s production the tapestry of ideas in Virlana Tkacz’s masterful direction are present across time and space, as images and sounds, conflicts, metaphors... A string of questions, both answered and unanswered appear... but all is answered when at the end the actors of Yara, all of different cultural backgrounds (Ukrainian, Irish, Asian, and African-American) sing together with the audience – “A New Joy Is Upon Us.”   
Kateryna Borush, Nova Hazeta (New York), January 9, 2015

 “Ostap Kostyuk portrayed Herod, as a calculating despot… Masha Pruss was brilliantly passionless as Death…. The evening ended with the audience joining the performers in a rousing version of “Nova Radist Stala” followed by long and appreciate rounds of applause.”
Ihor Slabicky, Ukrainian Weekly, February 22, 2015

This program was made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, Self-Reliance (NY) FCU, The Coca-Cola Company, and numerous friends of Yara Arts Group. The Koliadnyky have found a home in NY thanks to Ellen Stewart and La MaMa Experimental Theatre.


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