Yana And The Yeti: sweet-natured, artful magic

Yana And The Yeti: sweet-natured, artful magic

'Imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown' Act IV, Scene II, A Midsummer Night's Dream

The tale of Yana And The Yeti begins in a remote village in the snowy mountains. It’s the story of a girl that doesn’t quite fit in and is teased by the other children – added to the mix is the folklore of mythical creatures that live in those very mountains.

It starts off as a darkly humoured story but is sprinkled with humour throughout. It’s the classic message of individuality, acceptance and that friends can be made in the most unlikely of places. With meticulously crafted puppets and set design and thoughtful music score composition the play realises a simplistic yet compelling experience. This is all with the use of limited dialogue. Even when dialogue is heard, it isn't even English!

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The story is told in three increasing dimensions; at the start, the viewer is given a view of the quaint town looking somewhat like a homely Christmas village ornament. The characters are appropriately sized to match. In these scenes, we get more of a sense of the quiet life on the mountain side. We peer a little deeper into the characters’ lives using slightly the standard handheld puppets used for most of the tale. Even larger still, in some instances, there are live-action representations of the Yeti. These serve a two-fold purpose in the story: for audience engagement and for the larger-than-life, intense, enveloping scenes. Seeing the characters that large captures the audience’s attention so that they are focused on every detail. The attention to detail of the characters is fantastic, with every motion beautifully deliberate, adding greatly to the plot.

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The amazing score compliments the character and set design perfectly. It helps to transform the cinematic beauty into a compelling experience. Using soft ethereal music that develops into swells, it infuses the viewer with a light-hearted, fuzzy feeling throughout the show. Since there is limited dialogue, the music takes on a more intense role of conveying emotion and highlighting actions. This made certain scenes whimsical and others stylized. The use of music is so powerful that the lack of it makes certain scenes more dramatic.

Yana and Yeti proves itself to be a truly visual delight with striking set, music and character design. Though its subject matter is made for younger audiences, its cinematic aesthetic and pleasing score makes it one parents will also love seeing.

****

Four stars 

 

Gregory Pollard, Biochemistry student