Dakh Theatre & Dakh Daughters & Tetiana Troitska, UKRAINE
directed by: Vlad Troitskyi
The Ukrainian music and performance group Dakh Daughters chose for its unique cabaret the tile Danse Macabre (Dance of Death). Dakh Daughters are already known to the spectators at Divadelná Nitra, as they featured at the Festival with their cabaret Roses in 2016. Six actresses and director Vlad Troitskyi created Danse Macabre the shortly after the war in Ukraine forced them to emigrate to France. The captivatingly instrumented and performed songs are a mix of different genres from post-punk to Ukrainian folk music. In addition to the songs, the stories of women from war-affected Ukraine are heard from the stage. The women talk not only about pain, but also about changes in attitudes towards life, family, home and the material world. Stories from the war are interspersed in the production with quotations from the Book of Job. The biblical story of a man who lost everything. Because of suffering and overcoming pain he managed to find happiness again. The story serves as a parallel to the stories of people affected by the loss of loved ones or military crimes. In this case, the customary reminder of finitude is a dialogue with death that cuts in a country invaded by Russian aggressors. It is also a conversation at a distance with those who remain back home. The production is a testimony of war and exile, a nostalgic memory of the native land, an indictment, a show, a report and a variety performance in one. Danse Macabre featured at a number of European festivals; members of the ensemble also performed to great acclaim in Slovakia at the Pohoda festival (2015, 2023). The production, scheduled to conclude the current Festival edition, will be a powerful climax of the Divadelná Nitra 2023.
directed by: Vlad Troitskyi
performed by: Dakh Daughters: Natacha Charpe, Natalia Halanevych, Ruslana Khazipova, Solomia Melnyk, Anna Nikitina a/and Tetiana Troitska
Stage/props manager: Anton Ocheretianyi
Lights manager/subtitle: Astkhik Hryhorian
Coordinator: Viktoriia Fedoriv
Curator/ Distribution in Europe: Andrii Palantyi
Production / Distribution in France: Sébastien Juilliard
Technical Director: Alexandre De Monte
Stage manager: Simon Fouché
Sound manager: Arthur De Bary, Simon Auffret
executive production: Le Préau CDN de Normandie-Vire
supported by: Ministère de la Culture/DRAC Normandie, de la Fonderie, au Mans and Dakh Theatre, Kyiv, Ukraine
co-production: l’Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe – Paris; Théâtre National de Strasbourg; Le Théâtre de Vidy-Lausanne; Les Quinconces and L’Espal – Scène nationale du Mans with La Fonderie, au Mans; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
Vladyslav Troitskyi (1964) is Ukrainian theatre producer, director, playwright and scenographer. In 1994, he founded Centre of Contemporary Arts DAKH, the legendary and first independent theatre and centre of contemporary art in Ukraine. He is a creator and president of the international multidisciplinary festival platform of contemporary art GOGOLFEST (2007), which is one of the top 5 European festivals according to EFFA and other imperative cultural projects: world-music quartet DakhaBrakha (2004), intellectual freak cabaret Dakh Daughters (2012), music formation Nova Opera (2014). In 2018 he received the title Officer of French Order of Arts and Letters. He is a guest stage director in theatres in Hungary, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Georgia, Czech Republic. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion to Ukraine, Vladyslav with his team have been creating art resistances activities around the world to present the originality and uniqueness of Ukrainian art and to destroy the myth of russian great culture. Vladyslav is the cultural changemaker and avant-garde theatre enthusiast, the prominent figure in Ukrainian theatrical and cultural field.
„A moving document of resistance.“ (Tagesspiegel)
„The Dakh Daughters are among the most important cultural ambassadors of Ukraine.“ (3sat)
„Fear, anger, pain and an incredible power.“ (NDR)
„A grandiose evening of music theatre about war and displacement, flight and uprooting.“ (NRW)
In Danse Macabre the pilgrimage of Ukrainian women has an external and an internal perspective. From the beginning, suitcases are placed on stage and are transformed into mock-ups of shining block of flats or private rooms of the cast. (…) At one point, they open their house on wheels and metaphorically reveal their soul as well. Every woman carries something different: children’s shoes and stuffed animals, lace decorations or natural artefacts. As they illuminate the secret contents of their luggage with candles, the painting with a ghostly funereal atmosphere also evokes the imaginary graves of those closest to them – the people the protagonists lost in the battles. Given that the exclusively female cast in Danse Macabre, the themes of motherhood and female body from the point of view of war dominate the statements and the visual component of the production.
Marcela Magdová: Dakh Daughters arrived. Ukrainian dance of death in Prague attacked and appealed. In Aktuálně.cz, 15 March 2023