In the stillness of a Sunday afternoon I opened the door to the Yerushalmi Theater at Suzanne Dellal to find Tami and Ronen Izhaki kneeling side by side on the empty stage, kissing. I stood in the doorway, hesitating, not certain if I was interrupting an intimate moment between the couple, or if this was part of the dance rehearsal to which I had been invited.
As it turned out, the kiss is part of a complicated bit of choreography that they were working on that afternoon. Ronen warned me, “You’ve caught us in a difficult moment in the process.” The couple worked out the logistics of rising from a kneeling position and circling round one another while maintaining all the intensity of the kiss – a difficult maneuver that seems almost impossible to achieve – the move captured the wonderful absurdity that challenges every couple: how do two people manage to stay connected as life spins them around every which way?
In dance, as in life, the central question is often one of control. As they rose to a standing position, Tamar did not want Ronen to hold her head, as she felt it constricted her movement. Ronen, for his part, claimed that “when a man kisses a woman, he doesn’t hold his hands at his sides.” Tamar responded, “You can give of yourself without putting weight on me,” and at that moment she could have been every woman, any woman, talking to her partner in dance, or in life.
“This Now Is”, which premieres Thursday as part of Suzanne Dellal’s “Shades of Dance” Festival, is a physically expressive and often humorous look at the relationship between a couple. Inspired by Genesis 2:23 – “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” the duet is both “every man” and “every woman” and at the same time, created from the very personal experience of the choreographers.
Thought provoking and compelling in its exploration of the emotional conceptual through the body, a kiss is not just a kiss. From intimate and poignant to a playful percussion riff to intimations of distance – each moment in this short duet is like a journey through a hall of mirrors at a carnival, with its infinite reflections of love: funny, passionate, painful, fleeting and enduring all at once.
[Image credit: Kfir Bolotin www.kbolotin.com]
“Shades of Dance” (Gvanim) Program 2
Yaron Yerushalmi Hall, Suzanne Dellal Center
Thursday, March 19th at 21:30
Friday, March 20th at 14:00
Warehouse 2, Jaffa Port
Saturday, March 21st at 21:15