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Ukraine's globally acclaimed musical group DakhaBrakha returns to Artpark


Thu, Jul 7th 2022 08:40 pm

To perform live original score to screening of iconic silent film ‘Earth’ by Alexander Dovzhenko

√ Talkback with University at Buffalo professor & film scholar Bruce Jackson to follow July 14 in Mainstage Theater

Artpark & Company presents the return of Ukraine’s DakhaBrakha, to perform live musical accompaniment to the silent film “Earth” by Alexander Dovzhenko. This event is set for 8 p.m. Thursday, July 14, in the Mainstage Theater. The screening and performance will be preceded by a reception by the Western New York Ukrainian American and Polish American community to benefit humanitarian relief efforts.

General admission tickets are $12 and are on sale now at the Artpark box office (450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston) and online at ticketmaster.com.

A press release noted DakhaBrakha is “returning to Artpark after an unforgettable concert in 2019.

It continued, “ ‘Ethnic chaos’ band DakhaBraka hails from Kyiv, the war-torn capital city of Ukraine. With their multicultural traditional instrumentation, theatrical costuming, and the quartet's astonishingly powerful vocal range, they create a trans-national sound rooted in Ukrainian soil. Currently on a worldwide tour quickly following the start of the war, they have built enormous critical acclaim and a large global fanbase since forming in 2004, and appear regularly at the world’s most prominent venues and festivals.

“Experiencing the quartet is a gift that is unforgettable and rare.”

Uniquely for Artpark on this North American tour, DakhaBrakha provides the live musical score to a screening of the 1930 Ukrainian silent film “Earth.” Directed by Alexander Dovzhenko, “Earth” is considered to be one of the most important films of the Soviet era. The press release noted, “Dovzhenko is a master of composition, and the film is a passionate tribute to the countryside, to nature, and to the people that work on it.

“In a stunning parallel to current events, ‘Earth’ captures a moment in time when traditional rural life in Ukraine was about to undergo massive upheaval as a result of overwhelming political forces. It was named one of the top 10 greatest films of all time by the International Film Critics Symposium.”

The group had this to say about the creation of their soundtrack for “Earth”:

“Making music for Alexander Dovzhenko’s ‘Earth’ was a great honor for us, and a difficult creative challenge. Frame by frame, this Ukrainian masterpiece of world cinema impressed us every time we worked on it. No matter how we tried to work on the film as a self-contained artistic endeavor, avoiding ideological evaluation, we could not. Of course, we voiced the film in the human terms of the 21st Century, even while being aware that, after 1930, when the work was completed on ‘Earth,’ came the years of the Communist famine of 1932-33, the years of repression, and we know about the difficult fate of the Dovzhenko socialist empire. Together, we tried to convey the authenticity, and also the naivety, of those feelings and messages brought to us from that time and that era, to us today and our Earth.”

The performance will be preceded by a reception hosted by the Western New York Ukrainian American and Polish American community to benefit humanitarian relief efforts.

A talkback session with Bruce Jackson will follow. He is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and James Agee Professor of American Culture at University at Buffalo, and a well-known author, ethnographer and photographer. For the past 22 years, he and Diane Christian (SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at University at Buffalo) have curated and presented the Buffalo Film Seminars.

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