Reviews – Dance/Theater

2003 Press Kit (PDF, 2.7 MB) reviewed TRAPPED as part of the FringeNYC festival and made it the pick of the day, Saturday, August 16, 2003:

“A young girl runs up and down a hallway, screaming, knocking, pounding, and begging to get into many doors, all of which contain something unique, grotesque, fantastical, or even beautiful within. A heartbeat of music streams out so loudly from the speakers that, as an audience member, it’s difficult to distinguish if the rhythm is in your head, part of the piece, or even exists. In a film, the graceful body of the girl levitates from shot to shot on a white canvas and then one of the doors opens…

These are just some of the images racing through your head after seeing Trapped, conceived, directed, and performed by the amazing Ksenia Vidyaykina. There’s just so much to take in. How is it possible that on a clear stage, with only a white canvas backdrop, a red scarf hanging from above, and simple music, that a dancer/performer can fill up a space so entirely? Ksenia does. Simply put: Ksenia knows exactly what she’s doing. The fact that this entire piece (costumes, music, video, set, direction, etc.) was created and woven out of the mind of one person leaves the audience without any room for doubt that this is a complete performance. Nothing could be added, and nothing could be changed. It’s borderline perfection.

Ksenia offers a new way to look at pre-existing elements of your world, as she portrays a stripper who removes too much, a mermaid who cuts through to the essentials of who she is, a singer who transcends the song, a black widow who begs for sustenance….and all of them seen through the eyes of a young girl. See this show. Put yourself in Ksenia’s world for an hour, and then try to see things the way you used to: it may be hard to turn back. You are trapped.”

(Sarah Wolfman-Robichaud, (Lori Ortiz) called TRAPPED

“[…] a singular vision, a feminist tragedy, a surreal nightmare, a succession of predicaments, a cocktail of perversities, washed down with a chaser of charm


Vidyaykina looks at the double-edged sword that is pleasure and pain. She seems to ask, what part can we play in an unkind world? Though one can crave the healing power of a perfect divertissement, Vidyaykina’s creation serves up the raw scenes that hit home.”

Read the full review here.

Wendy Perron wrote in DANCE MAGAZINE, November 2003:

“FRINGE MERMAID – She writhed through a sinuous dance worthy of Salome and stripped down to skimpy bits of chiffon. Then she peeled from her leg a long skinlike patch, leaving tracks of blood. This was the opening scene in Ksenia Vidyaykina’s solo performance work TRAPPED, which also included a mermaid act in a built-up dress that exuded white fluid from the breasts and a dead fish from the belly. And as a black widow sprouting rubber antennae, she kissed a guy sitting in the front row, then drooled fake blood. One of the few dance entries in the sprawling New York International Fringe Festival in August, TRAPPED revealed Vidyaykina as a fascinating girl/woman with sensuous, spiraling arms and sad, fevered, trapped eyes.”

The The Village Voice (Meital Waibsnaider) wrote on September 24, 2003:

“TRAPPED lured us to a dark, painful place where milk oozed from gashed nipples, a dead fish was removed from a mermaid’s pregnant tummy, and a sliver of bloody thigh-skin was peeled in an act of exhibitionism and self-mutilation. Vidyaykina possesses hypnotic physical and directorial powers, and impressively held forth in vignettes featuring six troubled souls. Among them were a dejected flapper-era negligee-and-skin stripper, and a blood-drooling black spider who climbed the set and the audience with help from an endless red cloth. Vidyaykina must understand how it feels to be locked in a broom closet for years on end. Each fragmented word, gesture, and video-clip satisfyingly coalesced in a timeless, chilling portrait of female depravity and isolation.”

Various national and international publications picked up this story and picture (PDF) by Amy Westfeldt for Associated Press.

The New York Times wrote a review of the Cathy Weis production Electric Haiku at DTW, on December 02, 2002, calling Ksenia Vidyaykina’s

“simple but ravishing solo… the highlight of the piece”

(Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times)

Deborah Jowitt for The Village Voice about Electric Haiku, December 04, 2002