A visual street theater of metaphor and clownery, the world renowned Ilkhom Theatre of Uzbekistan began in 1976 as a renegade theater under the strict Soviet regime, existing without state censorship or subsidies. Now citizens of an independent republic, their work is no less controversial. As part of the Big Idea: Identity Shifts series, Ecstasy with the Pomegranate is a lush dance theater work on an epic scale inspired by the iconographic 1930s “Bacha Boys” paintings by Alexandr “Mumin” Nikolayev. Bacha, danced by young boys and men, was Turkistan’s only traditional dance form and was off limits to women. When the Soviets invaded the former Turkistan and obliterated all Islamic traditions, they effectively erased Bacha. Under Stalin, Mumin memorialized the form in sensual, spiritual paintings. Ecstasy brings to life these extraordinary images, capturing a male eroticism once embraced by a culture that now outlaws homosexuality. Performed in Russian with English subtitles, Ecstasy with the Pomegranate unearths the tumultuous period of transition between the rule of the Imperial Russia and Soviet Russia in Turkistan between 1915 and 1917. Beautiful, funny, subversive, Ecstasy revives history to illuminate contemporary themes of nationality, religion, Central Asian history, Russian turmoil, homoeroticism, love, and ultimately, the struggle for freedom of identity and expression. This gorgeously crafted collaborative project joins the forces of the Ilkhom Theatre, celebrated African American choreographer David Rousséve, director, the late Mark Weil, and composer Artyom Kim.
Tickets: $35 regular, $30 students/teachers/seniors, $26 YBCA Members
415.978.ARTS (2787), daily 11 am-6 pm
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Added by nglnd_lzbth on April 30, 2008