Edinburgh 2004

Derevo - Tanya Khabarova - Reflection

On her own, Tanya Khabarova is every bit as inspiring and entertaining as Derevo itself. It is the same aesthetic, the same disciplined performance and depth of stage imagery - only in a solo edition.

In her exploration of "the secret place between light and darkness known only to the Creator", Khabarova unravels a series of myths of creation. From shamanistic dances via the Greeks and the Bible to Darwin himself - though not in that order - Khabarova assumes countless shapes and forms, twisting and turning her limbs like magical wands and laying her whole body and soul on the altar of her art.

Though her choreography is not impeccable, she moves in a measured and refined way, whether she is scampering around the stage naked, hovering in the air or donning evening dresses and pyrotechnical headgear.

It makes all the sense for a woman to contemplate creation and having completed her beautiful stage picture - with the constellation of Sagittarius on the ceiling, wings on a swing and a cross/totem/tree centre stage - she lets the audience admire her creation for a long time before they spring to their feet. She modestly receives the rapturous applause, nodding at her tree.

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