Saturday, June 12, 2010

kibbutz contemporary dance company - more than dance

EKODOOM (excerpts)


KCDC is perhaps one of the only companies that leaves me thinking for at least an hour after I watch their work and who is using music perfectly. That's a big statement, I know, but this company is much more than dance. That choreographer Rami Be'er is an accomplished musician and artist is not the only reason their productions are so multi-dimensional. This is a very substantial group whose roots do not begin with dancing. They reach far deeper into the earth and everything that grows on the stage will surpass even Killian because of it. That's right. I said that.

The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company is essentially a commune and in fact these dancers live together. It's an extension of the original dance company/commune Kibbutz Ga'aton founded in the 60's by Yehudit Arnon and Rami Be'er's parents - Holocaust Survivors. Roots...

This is a subject I have studied extensively and have written about in a voice that people have misunderstood at times, I have a strange humor. But believe me, there are only a few experiences that are so stripped away from the word "human" that speaking about it is sort of like describing sounds to the deaf and surviving the Holocaust I think is one of them. Dance and music - probably visual art but I've been never been struck by it - may be the only way to express this kind of stark isolation from the pulse of the world. But many survivors had no ability to express anything and were swallowed up in silence. Life became divided into the time before and the time after. Does this experience become organic? I say it does because Rami Be'er conveys something far more than the most brilliant, innovative choreographers, he conveys that spiritual transcendence that his parents had to go through to not just survive...but to survive and create as artists. They passed it on to him. They and any other Survivors involved with Kibbutz Ga'aton and what was also known as The Regional Western Galilee Dance Group, echo in Be'er and the KCDC's work.

The music he chooses - bands like Murcof, Ske, Sigur Ros, 310, Laibach, Borsig are perfect and some of it new to me. Using German hardcore in "Ekodoom" was brilliant, smirk-worthy at least. Layering spoken word over repetitive music in the final act of "Upon Reaching the Sun", even though I have no idea what is being said, was beautifully set against the same thing with dance: dancers expressing something individual in repetitive staging. When I first saw this piece, I was struck by not only that but by what they were wearing, how they were moving, the sadness, the resignation against frenzy and I wondered "what is this guy trying to say"? It was so moving that I researched the choreographer and found the company's history: and this is not Swan Lake, this is not even contemporary dance.
Your body tells you when you are standing in the shadows of something greater than what it appears: wisdom, brilliance, history. This feeling - goosebumps, what have you - makes us aware of our body and soul and I've always considered that sudden "joint awareness" to be a spiritual experience. Fleeting as it is. The final scene of Upon Reaching The Sun can't be confused with any else. - Fatova Mingus