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TOTAL THEATRE Magazine, Issue 18, Volume 10 Spring 2006

BABA YAGA BONEY LEGS, Phoenix Leicester - December 2005

DNA's latest performance for adults and children concerns Baba Yaga, a character from Russian folklore. It is one of many fairytales that are not stepmother-friendly (she goes up in flames ant the end!), but Baba Yaga is more of an old lady stuck in her ways than a wicked witch. She has been around long enough to earn respect, if not entire alleigance, from natural forces. Her house on chicken legs is guarded by a moving forest, a grumpy bear and two skulls on sticks.

This is scary territory. The little girl in front of me jumped a few times (so did I). However, she could also easily relate to this coming-of-age story about a little girl with her magic doll who has to learn how to defend herself.

The production is an effective use of DNA's trademark puppetry and visual theatre techniques. It's dynamic use of overhead projectors, simple torchlight and a few pieces of material make the set look like hand-made magic. The poetical moments are very elaborate, in particular the striking Images of horsemen Day and Night riding in shadows over flags to make crops grow overnight.

DNA's next offering, Puss in Boots, will be touring throughout 2006: go along and see for yourself how, with a few bits and bobs, and a touch of poetry, a magical world can be crafted right in front of your eyes.


Fred Dalmasso

All text and images © Dynamic New Animation 2002