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Winter Light

World Music Theatre piece with: 

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 Shigeko Sara Suga, projections: Waldemart Klyuzko

with: 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 

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

premiere December 27-28, 2014

La MaMa ETC, New York



"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: ‘La-la-la-la’ as her final argument. And when [Marina Celander as the Refugee] movingly proclaims ‘All of us on this earth are refugees’ –the audience immediately sees 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 through Virlana Tkacz’s masterful direction are present across time and space, as images and sounds, conflicts, metaphors...”  A string of questions, both answered and answered appear... but there an answer, when at the end of the play 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

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