Bokan, the Bad Hearted

Bokan, the Bad Hearted by Federico Restrepo, with music composed by Elizabeth Swados, performed by Loco7, is a puppet dance drama that stages a legend of the indigenous tribes of the Amazon Jungle using life-sized puppets, live original music, dance and video. Its subject is the heroic poem of Yurupary, which descends from the Colombian and Brazilian Amazon and deals with primordial struggle for power between men and women.

Photo by Hendrick Smildiger
Photo by Hendrick Smildiger

The ritual of Yurupary still exists today as a rite of male passage among Amazonian peoples of Colombia, Brazil and Peru. In it, a boy approaching maturity finds himself as a person and connects to a deeper understanding of the jungle. He is exposed to and taught to play the sacred Yurupary and given a root drink called Yage. This root, typically used in the Amazon as medicine, opens the mind to dreams and hallucinations. The village Shaman guides the boy through his visions, connecting him to both the spirit world and the jungle’s botanicals and animals.

Set in the jungles of the Amazons, the journey of the protagonist enable us a way to enter the strange world of this exotic and vital culture. Loco7 turns the theatre space into an environmental pulsing organism, thriving with a charged frenetic rhythm, filled with puppets ranging from small, to life size, to larger then life.

This production is supported by an Artist Seed and Project Grant from The Jim Henson Foundation, a cultural grant from The Puffin Foundation, Materials For The Arts, Ellen Stewart and La MaMa ETC.

bokan-Funeral_b bokan-Goddess_b Bokan-Seusy-girl_b


X Iberoamericano Theatre Festival, Bogotá, Colombia.
In April 2006 Loco7 traveled to Bogotá, Colombia representing
the United States and Colombia, with Bokan, the Bad Hearted at the festival.

New York, La MaMa ETC – The Annex Theatre, World Premier: Dec. 3 – Dec. 19.


Bokan, the Bad Hearted, has been nominated by
The New York Innovative Theatre Awards 2005 in the following categories:
Federico Restrepo: Outstanding Choreography/Movement.
Denise Greber/Federico Restrepo: Outstanding Costume Design.
Bokan, the Bad Hearted: Outstanding Performance Art Production.


The New York Times A Spirited Struggle of Men and Puppet por Neil Genzlinger
Village Voice
Backstage Bokan, The Bad Hearted
Downtown Express Federico Restrepo Inspired Puppet Master por Wickham Boyle
The Villager  Bokan, the Bad Hearted por David Pumo An Amazonian Tale por Deidre McFadyen
El Diario Mitos Del Amazonas Cobran Viad en La MaMa
El Diario
Hoy Bokán, El de Mal Corazon


Conceived, Designed, Choreographed and Directed by Federico Restrepo
Music Composed by Elizabeth Swados
With Additional Music by Camila Celin and Daniel Correa
Puppet, Set, Light Design and Construction by Federico Restrepo
Costume Design and Construction by Denise Greber
With Additional Construction by Michael Bieglmayer, Jennifer Bruno, Golnaz Fakhimi, Amanda Miller, Ollie Rasini, Shari Sabel Strandmark
Video Edit by Angela Sierra
Production Manager Denise Greber
Stage Manager Shari Sabel Strandmark
The Cast: Federico Restrepo, Carolyn Cryer, Kate Duyn, Denise Greber, Dennis Guzman, Aaron Hastkell, Tom Lee, Chris Mehmed, Eugene the Poogene, Abagail Rasminsky, Shigeko Suga, Maggie Thom
Puppeteers and Vocal Chorus Michael Bieglmayer, Jennifer Bruno, Golnaz Fakhimi, Amanda Miller, Ollie Rasini
Opening Video Image and Song by Anastasia Candre
Artistic Design Consultant Eduardo Rodas

Loco7’s Bokan, the Bad Heatred is supported by Ellen Stewart, La MaMa ETC, An Artist Seed Grant and Artist, Project Grant from The Jim Henson Foundation, a cultural grant from The Puffin Foundation, and Materials For The Arts.

Special Thanks to

Anastasia Candre from the ethnic group Ocaima of the clan Caguanguichal, Ellen Stewart and the entire La MaMa Staff, Mark Tambella, Alejandra Correa, Pina Correa, Tutu Correa, Juan Fisher, Terry Helbush, Luz Jaramillo, Catarina Leitão, Victoria Tobon, Mario Duarte, Silvia Moreira, Josue Duarte, David Adams.