On the nights of Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22, theatre-goers will experience the mind-bending fantasy and unique musical experience of THE LEGEND OF YAUNA, an incredible tale created by the Grammy award-winning composer/music director Chris Berry and staged by director/choreographer Maija Garcia, the powerhouse behind the Tony award-winning Broadway production FELA!. This theatrical music and dance experience shares the wisdom of Yauna, an ancient narrative set 12,000 years ago that spotlights the indigenous Bana Kuma ceremonies of Zimbabwe. Helmed by the pen and voice of the talented Berry, the eclectic cast includes: Afro-European vocalist Marie Daulne (founder of the internationally acclaimed quintet Zap Mama) playing the role of “Black Panther Queen”; seven musicians performing on non-traditional instrumentation including African drums and the shona Mbira; and a diverse nine-member theatrical ensemble that brings the storybook to life through music, song and high-powered contemporary dance.
“The story of Yauna is one that has been a part of my life for many years, impacting me in a profound way,” says Berry. “I’m thrilled beyond words to give life to this legend at BAM. Collaborating with the extraordinarily talented Maija Garcia allows the perfect opportunity to reinvent Yauna. My hope is that viewers can join us in identifying with Yauna, escaping with Yauna, and re-engaging their lives through Yauna.”
Yauna’s story is a mystical voyage through Water, Earth, Air and Fire tribes where names are not spoken, but sung. In a desperate quest to save his ailing father and reunite with his family, Yauna is faced with seemingly impossible challenges at every turn. Yauna’s humility and determination reveal the power of non-violence, self-sovereignty and forgiveness. In THE LEGEND OF YAUNA: Music Changes Everything.
“THE LEGEND OF YAUNA is a mythological fable that deserves an interactive staging,” says Garcia. “It’s a story that connects the human struggle to empower an authentic voice while harmonizing our differences. Here, the suspension of disbelief is imperative and we invite you to drop into the ritual of storytelling. We consider this BAM production to be the first of Yauna’s future iterations.”
BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn; Train: 2/3/4/5/Q/B to Atlantic Ave; D/N/R to Pacific Ave; G to Fulton; C to Lafayette Ave
BAM at 718.636.4100 or visit http://www.bam.org/music/2014/the-legend-of-yauna.