DakhDaughters on the pages of THE NEW YORK TIMES!

Dakh Daughters is born out of Kiev’s theater scene and features seven women who bring equal parts musical and theatrical chops to performances that are witty, subversive and brash.

Dressed in tutus and combat boots with their faces painted white, the Daughters stalked the stage like conquerors taking possession of an alien territory. Texts (in Ukrainian, English and French) were delivered in shouts, hisses and yelps, with the voices sometimes coming together in exquisitely vocalized folk harmonies.

Individually, the voices belonged to wildly disparate worlds including heavy metal, punk, and the glassy plangency of Balkan folk singing. They handled instruments like found objects: a violin propped against a hip, a cello tilted at a rakish angle. The bassist mostly drew sound from her instrument by spanking it; the drummer stomped the foot pedal of her bass drum as if it were vermin.

A signature song of the Daughters is “Rozy/Donbass,” referring to a region contested by Russia, once known to Ukrainians for its rose gardens. It begins with a mournful setting of lines by Shakespeare delivered almost mechanically, with shouts of “Donbass” flung out with raw aggression. Eventually the music takes on a ritualistic whirl until it screeches to a halt with just the word “rozy” — roses — intoned as if by zombies.

The song, like the Daughters’ performance, is darkly seductive and alienating at once — a powerful expression of the tensions endured by women in conflict zones, and a reminder that identity often means fighting on multiple battle lines.

Full article on The New York Times


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Photo credit: Sarah EscarrazTseSho-Hate-Eurovision-2019-Ukraine