Teatral Yen, Kaô

Review in Issue 7-1 | Spring 1995

Anglo-Brazilian company Teatral Yen presented their performance art/installation piece Popol Voh in the London International Mime Festival in 1993.

The production of Kaô was conceptually similar – a mix of performance and live art, ethereal music, and abstract images of desire and conflict found in chaos rather than convention.

A leaf-covered floor, sleeping bodies draped in five large, white baths, two symmetrical staircases of milk crates leading up to an enormous central crucifix with statutory Christ-like figure – the impact of the first image was strong. It promised great things. Sadly it was immediately undermined by a child running on firing a toy machine gun at the audience.

This set a precedent: images half presented and lost, a frustrating lack of theatricality, ideas indicated but not explored, performers in their own little worlds.

The set was cumbersome, much of the visual impact lost because of awkward practicalities. The taking down of the cross was not exploited and instead of assisting the idea of persecution and slavery it merely held up the action. The performance level dropped, and as the play continued the actors looked uncomfortable and even bored.

The play lacked an overall drive and structure. Even in Live Art images need to build upon each other and connect. Here all was dissociated.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1995

This article in the magazine

Issue 7-1
p. 23