David Burliuk is slapped by a Scythian Ice Princess.
The obvious result: Futurism in Siberia, Japan and New York.
created by Yara Arts Group
with Bob Holman, Susan Hwang and Julian Kytasty
director: Virlana Tkacz
set, lights, projection and graphic design: Darien Fiorino
costume design: Keiko Obremski
stage manager: Olena Jennings
June 17-21, 2019, New York at La MaMa Great Jones, New York
June 22, 2019 The Ukrainian Museum in New York
June 23, 2019 Bowery Poetry Club, New York
Yara Arts Group, from La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York, presents Slap! created and performed by Bob Holman, Susan Hwang and Julian Kytasty, and directed by Virlana Tkacz. Slap! is an hour-long theatre musical-cabaret, interrogating the totally true but outrageous life and journey of David Burliuk, the father Futurism.
In Slap! David Burliuk is performed by Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club and the poet most often connected with the oral tradition, spoken word, hip hop and poetry slams. Singer-songwriter Susan Hwang portrays the accordion-playing Scythian Ice Princess, while Julian Kytasty, traditional epic singer and bandura player, sings their story. The three, together with director Virlana Tkacz, created Capt. John Smith Goes to Ukraine, which NY Theatre Wire called “an extremely delightful musical-experimental work of theater [that] gives its history lessons a much-needed makeover with fun, liveliness, and an accordion…” Slap! was developed and presented at La MaMa Great Jones, the Ukrainian Museum and the Bowery Poetry Club in June 2019.
David Burliuk was a painter, poet and the energetic organizer of Futurism. He studied in Munich and Paris and helped excavate Scythian burial mounds in southern Ukraine where he grew up. Burliuk created the most important avant-garde exhibitions in Kyiv, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Munich before WWI. Called the father of Futurism, he toured with Vladimir Mayakovsky, dressing in colorful vests with radishes on the lapel and painted animals on his face. Their Futurist performances drew packed houses, scandalizing many, and winning converts to new art. During the Revolution, Burliuk created Futurist shows and exhibitions in Siberia in 1920-22 in Japan. Afterwards Burliuk settled in New York.
SLAP! was made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as the Self-Reliance Foundation and the numerous friends of Yara Arts Group.
SLAP! is an original theatre piece created by Yara Arts Group, a resident company at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York.
Photos by Pavlo Terekhov