ZAVIALOVA BRINGS UNREPEATABLE PERFORMANCE TO CARNEGIE HALL IN SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
By Anita Moreno with Vincent Lyn
Graphic Artwork Courtesy of Ukrainian Artist Liudmyla Lavrenchuk
Ukrainian born performance artist, actor and martial arts world champion Svitlana Zavialova , professionally known as Wu Woman , made history as the first artist of her kind to grace Carnegie Hall. The electrifying sold out performance of award winning pianist and martial Noinistmin artist Grimmy L Masha Brodskaya (Ukraine) was accompanied by Zavialova's dazzling signature movement style, an ethereal combination of violence and flow.
Wielding a sword and moving through the language of martial dance she embodied the multi-layered emotions of loss, violence and resilience. Zavialova, draped in the Ukrainian blue and yellow, communicated the rawness of war and the uncomfortable truth of her nation in a warrior's prayer for victory. Her performance earned her a standing ovation. Wu Woman states: “I wanted to shake people from the cognitive space, into the world of emotion. From speculation into empathy.”
Born in Crimea, Zavialova saw the fall of the Soviet Union at the age of 3. Her country sank into civil chaos and economic unrest. She remembers reading by candlelight and how her family of teachers and engineers were suddenly thrown into poverty. She found solace and refuge in martial arts, thus beginning her journey in the way and manner of the warrior.
At the age of five, she knew she had to be the best in order to get out and rise. She trained endlessly, eventually making it to the national Kickboxing and Wushu teams. Wushu is a traditional Chinese art form, an exhibition of forms and full-contact sport.
She won the Kickboxing World Championships between international clubs at the age of 19. Zavialova competed internationally becoming a champion and medalist in Hu Xin Quan (traditional tiger style).
Photography Courtesy of Spencer Lloyd Blake
Her skill and prowess and unique style gained notoriety, winning the admiration of The Shanghai Theater, who summoned her to be a part of their prestigious ensemble. Zavialova spent a decade in China developing her original art form and working in film and television. Her work is centered around the artistic use of symbolic violence to convey the full spectrum of human emotions through a fusion of Wushu and dance.
Zavialova's initial style has led her to be invited to perform with artists such as Amanda Palmer and Pussy Riot. She has been chosen to embody heroes and monsters in popular video games, including Destiny 2.
From the beginning of the Russian invasion in 2022, Zavialova worked to raise awareness of the devastation caused by the conflict and provide aid to Ukraine.
She teamed with long time collaborator and Grammy Award winning violinist Ernesto Villalobos and guitarist Noe Socha for her performance at The High Line Nine Gallery named “The things we see and don't feel, the things we feel and never see”. Their work was auctioned in a form of an NFT benefitting misplaced Ukrainian children, independent media professionals, and refugees.
Her art films in support of Ukraine were displayed on the NYC High Line as well as on the Times Square LED Mega Screens
Zavialova is currently working on a graphic novel based on her life story. We can't wait to see what this real life Super Hero will surprise us with next.
Actor & Playwright
CEO & Founder of We Can Save Children
Deputy Ambassador of International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization
Economic & Social Council at United Nations (ECOSOC)
Editor-in-Chief at Wall Street News Agency
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