Farm in the Cave, Sclavi / Song of an Emigrant

Review in Issue 18-4 | Winter 2006

A cacophony erupts as a wagon rattles and clatters out of the dark. Head-scarved women and loose-shirted men explode into the space with polyphonic songs, stamping dances and raw physicality. We’re awoken to the frenzied and emotive dream of an anonymous Slovak migrant worker returning home, trying to find his place within his vacated past, where lives and loves have moved on.

The title of the piece references the Latin word ‘sclavi’ which means both Slavs and slaves. Sclavi/Song of an Emigrant is based on the Farm in the Cave Theatre Studio’s expeditions to villages in Eastern Slovakia; on old Ruthenian songs; on letters written by emigrants who find that coming home is the hardest thing of all. This is an international collaboration, examining the diaspora of Slavic culture past and present: the creators of the production are Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian and Serbian. It is an in-depth production that uses all and any available artform practices in the service of theatre.

I loved this show, felt moved, engrossed and enraptured by the performers’ passionate intensity. It is so complete: the sounds, the songs, the (live) percussive music, the intensely physical dance/performance, the atmospheric lighting. Nothing lacked. Making me sigh with that good aching feeling.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-4
p. 10