journey into the land of dreams

Performance inspired by the poetry of Oleh Lysheha

created by Virlana Tkacz

with Yara Arts Group, Ukrainian and Kyrgyz artists

Dream Bridge New York, May, 2012
photos from La MaMa 

Dream Bridge in Kyiv March, 2012

photos more photos 

Bishkek July, 2011 | photos

Virlana on Oleh Lysheha

and Dream Bridge



PRESS in New York

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 unique aspects of the seemingly trivial is exceptional; 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. Kateryna Kindras, Nova Hazeta (New York) May 3, 2012


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 piece, 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 of Shakespeare, jumping in the river, and others.

            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 chose 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


This is a work, the likes of which I have never seen. 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 memories and dreams, as well as actual events, in its watery depths. 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.

            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

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


Yara Arts Group

306 E 11th St #3B

New York, NY 10003 USA

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