Living sculpture based on Daniil Kharms’s novel Staroukha with Stepanida Borissova, Yakutian singer and actress, as a part of Barents Spektakel, Kirkenes, Norway, 2010
Also performed at Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow, Russia, 2009
“Best Experiment” and “Best Female Part” at The Golden Mask, Russian National Theatre Festival, 2010
Performance first presented in 2009 by Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow, Russia
Golden Mask national theatre award, nominated for 'Best Experimental Production', 'Best Female Part'
Staroukha (the old women) is only novel by my favorite russian writer, poet, playwright and visionnary daniilkharms kharms.
Starved to death in 1940 in a hospital at one of stalin's prison camps the region of yakutia is at least a 7 hour flight away from Moscow stretching beyond the polar circle, Yakutia boasts an enormous territory (constituting over a fifth of russia) but a tiny population (with barely 2 million people) before converting to eastern orthodoxy, the yakut people practiced shamanism.
Their daily lives continue to be full of local rituals, superstitutions and beliefs Stepanida Borissova is one of the most outstanding shamanic singers in the entire world additionally, she's a classically trained actress, as well as Russia's only yakutian movie star Stepanida is a talking sculpture, created together with my great friend and a long time collaborator Katya Bochavar.
She is placed on a 4-meter pedestal swathed in white. I'm seated on the same type of pedestal, only wrapped in black taking over the roles of an old woman and a young man, as well as all the other characters of Staroukha, Stepanida speaks both Russian and Yakutian, although she mainly sings i act as her conductor and co-singer.
For some moments, I become her voice, while she merely mouthes the sounds the 40 minute performance concludes with an eastern orthodox prayers, which she sings in her own shamanic manner.