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In Slavic folklore, Rusalki are the restless spirits of women who have died unjust, untimely, or unnatural deaths. They inhabit the waters, forests, and fields, luring people to them with their mesmerizing songs and wild laughter. Rusalki are also spinners who regulate fertility, the cycles of the seasons and the weather. Performed by the nine powerful vocalists of Kitka, THE RUSALKA CYCLE is a riveting dream-like journey weaving traditional Eastern European songs together with original music by Mariana Sadovska in a haunting and evocative contemporary theater piece directed by Ellen Sebastian Chang.

THE RUSALKA CYCLE is a multiyear, international project that included a research expedition and tour to Ukraine. The Ukrainian journey took Kitka to remote rural villages where elder women keep alive ancient Rusalka lore. In these village expeditions, Kitka participated in the festivities and rituals of Rusalnaia Nedelia (Rusalka week), culminating their journey in the village of Havronshchyna for the ritual Provedu Rusalok (the leading of the Rusalki to their underworld homes). While in Havronshchyna, the artists also gathered songs and oral histories from the villages' inhabitants, many of whom are refugee-evacuees of nearby villages destroyed by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

THE RUSALKA CYCLE premiered in Oakland, CA in November 2005 to sold-out houses and overwhelming public acclaim. The January 2008 San Francisco revival of The Rusalka Cycle marks the release of a CD featuring the production's music, and precedes the touring of the production to national and international theater festivals.

Kitka was founded in 1979 by a group of singers who shared a passion for the stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, lush harmonies, and resonant strength of Eastern European women's vocal traditions. Through performances, recordings, educational programs, commissions, and collaborations, Kitka has exposed millions to the stirring beauty of their unique repertoire.


Official Website: http://www.kitka.org

Added by FullCalendar on November 29, 2007

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