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HOWLING (2002)

world music theatre based on Siberian wolf legends

created by Yara Arts Group

and artists from Buryatia



Eunice Wong, Victor Zhalsanov, 

Dondok Dasheyev, Sayan Zhambalov, 

Erzhena Zhambalov, Stephanie Summerville, Angela Lewis, Anais Terekian, and Meredith Wright,  

Battuvshin.traditional instrumentals

Yoshitaka Shimada percussionist


directed by Virlana Tkacz

music by Erzhena Zhambalov based on traditional Buryat music, with additional songs from other  traditions and by cast members

set, light and costume design by Watoku Ueno

design assistant: Makoto Takeuchi

costumes constructed by Renata Podolec

movement shaped by Katja Kolcio

video by Andrea Odezynska

assistant director Sofia Jovic

administrative assistant: Lawson Wulsin

stage manager: DJ Potter

graphic design by Denise Greber

publicity photo by Alexander Khantaev


March 15 to 31, 2002

La MaMa Experimental Theatre

"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."

Eva Yaa Asantewaa,  Village Voice, April 9, 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."

 HiDrama TV show April 12, 2002

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