Fish and Fowl in Israel

December 11, 2009

I’ve only been in Tel Aviv one day and have already seen two fantastic pieces. The first was Rooster by Barak Marshall. The second was Trout by Inbal Pinto. Both were totally absorbing and consuming and represent the best of International Exposure, which is sort of the Israel APAP but also for the public. In Rooster, the group sectons had wonderful, funny, unison gestures to pounding rhythms. Striving but funny. Big purple fuzzy fans (Las Vegas style) served as reminders of rooster combs (I know that’s not the real word for it). At one point a single man heaves and huffs and produces an egg from his mouth. And again, and again. The rest of the group surrounds him with encouraging sighs. Whether it’s a gender comment or not, it’s very funny and arduous. Marshall’s mother, the great Israeli dancer Margalit Oved, appears from time to time to sing a shrill lullaby and dazzle us with her elegance and theatricality. Trout has an amazing set. It’s a room with doors that pop open unexpectedly and a floor filled with a few inches of water. I love the movement for the dancers thrashing around in the water or ridiculously wading in it. A woman wearing a Victorian dress is impossibly elegant with just the hem of her dress immersed. She lets out mumbling sounds from her mouth that build to scarey/funny sounds. Sort of Meredith Monk crossed with Richard Foreman. The characters are bizarre and delightful, just like in Pinto’s piece Rushes for Pilobolus a year or two ago. Both these pieces show an incredible choreographic imagination at work, like the feeling you get when you watch Pina Bausch. They have gritty, real, or cartoonish characters, and a poetry behind how episodes shift and develop.