East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Theatre "Arabesky", Ukraine

Sylwia Śmigiel
Contact
Telephone: 
phone: +38 057 706 25 79, fax: +38 057 706 25 80, mob.: +38 066 855 68 05
Description
Information about institution: 

“Arabesky” theatre is a small independent theatre group from Kharkiv city (10 people cooperating on a constant basis including creative group and managing staff). It is well known among viewers and professionals throughout Ukraine and also functions as an influential and active NGO in its region.

Theatre director: Oleshko Svitlana. Key personnel: Barbara Mykhaylo, Mariya Zaichenko, Tsymbal Nataliia, Voloshyna Iryna, Savyelyev Pavlo.

Students of the theater department at the Kharkiv Art Institute founded the “Arabesky” theatre in 1993 and resources were provided by the Kharkiv Museum of Literature, which is a base for creative activities of Ukrainian artists, musicians, poets, and actors in this eastern Ukrainian citadel.

During the first years of its existence, the theater devoted much attention to “laboratory work”, occasionally presenting results of their own experiments to artistic circles, mainly. Since 1997 the theater’s concept has evolved substantially. Besides the constant vocal and dance training, movement and speech, as well as sketch exercises, the team has actively worked on creating its own unique repertoire and tours anytime and anywhere.  

The most important projects:
Plays:

  • 1997 - “Eneyida” (by Ivan Kotliarevsky)
  • 1999 - “Favorite poems” (for children, based on different poems collection)
  • 2001 - “A Little Play About Betrayal” (text by Oleksander Irvanets)
  • 2002 - “Marry Christmas, Jesus Christ”(Vertep), texts by Serhiy Zhadan
  • 2003 - “Bad Period” (based on J.D. Salinger’s “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”)
  • 2006 - “CHERNOBYL™” Ukrainian-Polish-Belorussian theatre document
  • 2007 - “Radio: Eight Stories About Jura Soyfer”(texts by Serhiy Zhadan)
  • 2010 - “Red Elvis” (texts by Serhiy Zhadan)

Video:

  • 2003 - Video film “Z\Z: “Zones of Betrayal” (documentary)
  • 2006 - Short video film “Theatre in prison”
  • 2006 - Short video film “Stas Perfetsky is returning to Ukraine”

Projects:

  • 1999 - International Festival of Postmodern Art “Apocalypse Begins Here” (Kharkiv)
  • 2003-2004 - “Z/Z: Zones of Betrayal. Social projections of Art”(staging performance “A Little Play About Betrayal” in 5 penitentiaries in Kharkiv, sociological research, series of panel discussions on penitentiary problems (Kiev-Kharkiv), a photo exhibition (Kharkiv-Kiev), a documentary film (produced, presented and distributed on CDs). The materials of the project and articles written by project’s experts were published as a brochure.
  • 2004-2006 - “Theatre Therapy as a Method for Social Rehabilitation” in cooperation with N-Studio NGO (Stockholm): four performances by J.Jönsson together with M.Barbara “Moments of Reality”(in penitentiaries and theatres of Kharkiv and Kiev); staging performances in three Ukrainian penal institutions in Kharkiv and Lviv (inmates are involved as actors). Short-film shooting.
  • 2006 - International Literature and Music Festival “ZEX ” (Kharkiv).
  • 2010 - DEBATES IN THEATRE FORTY-NINE. Following the performance, guests, experts and journalists participated in a discussion, which focused not only on the performance itself, but also on the issues raised.

“Arabesky” is member of IETM.

International projects (plays):
2003 - “Bad Period” (based on J.D. Salinger’s “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”)
2006 - “CHERNOBYL™” Ukrainian-Polish-Belorussian theatre document
2011 - "The Water Hen" (based on plays by Witkacy)

Other international projects:

  • 1999 - International Festival of Postmodern Art “Apocalypse Begins Here” (Kharkiv)
  • 2000 - Organization of performances and workshops by Women Theatre Group (Japan) and Children’s Theatre (Armenia).
  • 2001 - International Festival of Postmodern Art “Poetry №1 ” (Kharkiv).
  • 2002 - Innovative project of developing and producing a video supplement for the La Strada textbook on prevention of trafficking in people (in cooperation with the International women rights center “La Strada-Ukraine”).
  • 2004 - Presentation of the “Andruxoid” project (Ukraine-Poland) in Kharkiv (literature readings, jazz concert).
  • 2004-2006 - “Theatre Therapy as a Method for Social Rehabilitation” in cooperation with N-Studio NGO (Stockholm): four performances by J.Jönsson together with M.Barbara “Moments of Reality” (in penitentiaries and theatres of Kharkiv and Kiev); staging performances in three Ukrainian penal institutions in Kharkiv and Lviv (inmates are cast as actors). Shooting of a short film.
  • 2005 - Organization of exhibition tour for “Orange Alternative” (Poland): photo-exhibition, lectures, film demonstrations, performances (Kharkiv, Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Lviv).
  • 2006 - Presentation of “Letters to Ukraine” project in Lviv (literature readings, jazz concert).
  • 2006 - International Literature and Music Festival “ZEX ” (Kharkiv).
  • 2007 - Organization of MAPA (Netherlands) trainings series “Artistic Leadership and Teambuilding” (in cooperation with Center for Theatre Art named after Les Kurbas).

The most important awards:

  • 1995 - Annual award laureate of the Ukrainian-American publishing house “Smoloskyp” (“The Torch”) for the performances “The Path to the Commune Beyond the Mountains ”, “You Won’t Find a Better Sun Anywhere “ and “Kharkiv tales ”. The director and the actors received also complementary awards.
  • 1997 - First Prize at the “Pearls of the Season” Ukrainian Youth Festival for the performance “Enejida” (for directing and acting).
  • 1998 - First Festival of Comedy (Kiev), “Enejida” was dubbed the “Discovery of the Festival”.
  • 2000 - “Bosporsky Agony” International Festival of Ancient Drama (Kerch). Plaudits in the following nominations: Most Original Interpretation of an Ancient (Classical) Theme, Best Female Role, Audience Favorite Prize.

Objectives: The workers in “Arabesky” are acutely aware of what kind of theatre they are creating, and nothing is left to chance. They believe that contemporary theatre is a local center where democracy can be exercised; it is an arena for discussion and debate. It is a space where actors and directors can meet and cooperate, but it is also a common ground for composers and musicians, artists and designers, choreographers and circus professionals, art managers and journalists, drama writers and translators. It is intended to be a laboratory for professional development and experiments. Its role as a theatre serves as a two-way connection for communication with the public and can be a space for provocation and discussions about the painful and sensitive issues. Activities are going on all the time without breaks, even during weekends.

Publications:

Websites

Newsletter