Dakh Daughters fly their freak flag in Israel

The Dakh Daughters are a freak force of nature. Defying gravity with odd ensemble pieces, unusual sounds and pantomime makeup to pair, their cabaret show launches crowds into a galaxy far, far away.

By JENNIFER GREENBERG
July 14, 2019 21:32
3 minute read.
Dakh Daughters fly their freak flag in Israel

The Dakh Daughters . (photo credit: IGOR GADAI)

Seven Ukrainian women, fifteen instruments, one weirdly wonderful cabaret. The Dakh Daughters are a freak force of nature. Defying gravity with odd ensemble pieces, unusual sounds and pantomime makeup to pair, their cabaret show launches crowds into a galaxy far, far away.

Each of the seven Ukrainian women plays an equal role in the bizarre, yet beautiful theatrical performance that can only be truly understood by experiencing it firsthand. Luckily, they are on their way to Tel Aviv this July to offer that exclusive opportunity.

One of the amazing attributes of the Dakh Daughter’s composition is the number of instruments each woman can – and does – play. The women attribute this to their ongoing studies under the tutelage of assorted music instructors and masters of singing.

“We mastered these as a team and applied our skills to various performances with the Dakh Theatre before the Dakh Daughters were born,” they explain.

Prior to forming their own offshoot, the Dakh Daughters toured with the theater under the direction of founder Vladyslav Troitskyi, performing such Shakespearean plays as King Lear and Macbeth.

All seven performers idolize Troitskyi. “Vlad is both a guru and a father, an ideological inspiration and a great director,” they say. Their heterogeneous creative process – bouncing between individual ideas, group collaborations and outside proposals – is held together by their guru’s input. “We listen to his thoughts and a compositional character is born.”

Much to their dismay, the Dakh Daughters no longer have much time for Dakh Theatre repertoire since their current traveling show jeopardizes most of their time. Fortunately, they are eager to announce a new performance on the horizon in collaboration with Troitskyi. For now, their lipstick laden lips are sealed.

In addition to bouncing between instruments and personalities like Newton’s cradle, each of the members brings her own kinetic energy to the stage. In one song, an accordion becomes a woman’s vehicle into a shocking horror story. In another, the cellist’s bow is replaced by a wooden spoon – tapping against the strings in a steady drone to hypnotize the audience.

“We like to think of our show as a ‘Freak Cabaret,’” the Daughters explain. “Not just because we’re strange or different from others. [A Freak] is an artist who isn’t afraid of being themselves, an artist who is free from themselves, and aware of their own originality, even while resembling other artists.”

Peace, love and “human freedom” are the centripetal force keeping this dark cabaret in orbit. “These ideals are the most valuable things we can cherish in our lives and the reason for which we live.”

When asked about their musical goal to “save the world,” the women respond that it is impossible to save the world; it is only possible to save it every second, meaning to fill it with love and creativity since art can do this as faithfully as possible.

Their beaming faith brings light to a dark genre, filling any dimly lit room with joy.

“It’s all about atmosphere to be honest,” they share. “Our atmosphere relies on close communication with our spectators, which is why it’s constantly different... as are the spectators.”

In their case, ambience is created by the platform, whether that platform be a classical theater with posh chairs or a multi-staged music festival and a hot crowd in constant movement.

The women will feel right at home at their upcoming platform, the Barby club. The south Tel Aviv venue’s theatrical nature – an eerie haunted mansion with low hanging chandeliers galvanized by an impressive lighting and sound system and an equally excitable crowd – offers the perfect setting to produce their feminine force field.

“We find inspiration in everything: in Marilyn Monro, in Amanda Palmer, in life, in children, in men and friends, in cinema and in theater because life is inexhaustible,” they explain. “Because it is our first time in Tel Aviv, we will perform our ‘classic’ program. Although our show is constantly changing with the arrival of new compositions, we hope it will be beautiful and memorable.”

The Dakh Daughters perform at the Barby club in Tel Aviv on July 20. For tickets: barby.co.il


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