The Karavan Ensemble are a group of performers, artists and musicians who construct challenging and original theatre productions with a variety of collaborators. With Somnambules & the 7 Deadly Sins, the Karavan Ensemble have developed a physical theatre piece with stunning visuals, fractured storytelling, bold music and intriguing physicality.
Tanya Khabarova (Derevo) and Yael Karavan are our performers for the evening. We began with Karavan seated in the audience. Khabarova on the other hand was on stage, back to the audience, sitting by a clinical desk which has various curiosities on top. She appeared to metamorphosize into a bold overpowering deity and beckoned Yael Karavan to join her on stage. Karavan was reluctant at first, but when she succumbed the intuitive physical performance began.
Khabarova and Karavan took us on a journey where visual imagery and iconography piece together a splintered narrative. Throughout, the performers exemplify a variety of personas and push and pull at each other, making use of the stage while developing a physical dialogue. The themes of loss and destruction are evident, and conveyed brilliantly through pertinent movement performed with ease.
Somnambules & the 7 Deadly Sins really shows its intentions during a segment utilising shadow puppetry. Both performers stand behind a screen and blend their shadows together as one. The harmony of the union is broken with deadly consequences and the use of visual metaphors is underlined with an original and signature style.
Music for Somnambules & the 7 Deadly Sins was constructed by Calum Bowen and although the soundscapes augment the performance - presenting the subtlety, frustration, sensitivity, but also the stone cold brevity - it does occasionally feel overbearing.
At times, the performance can be hard to follow due to the aforementioned fractured storytelling and the fact that time and space seem to be non-linear in this world. This, however, does not fully distract from the two performers onstage and overall the performance is both bold and compelling.