Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Polak – Dust
Suzanne Dellal, January 3


The latest creation of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Polak, Dust, fits perfectly their line of works they concoct in their unique Haute couture studio, which may be called: studio for absolutely captivating dance theater productions.

The couple have managed, without fail to maintain their artistic choices over a long period of time, and yet, find fresh ways of expression, with regard to details, but not in the core of their stage and performance’s perception.

Dust is quite oppressive and pessimistic, yet it shines from within with touching beauty. Its surreal ambiance and incredibly high aestheticism is a mark of Pinto-Polak sensitivities and multi-faceted talents. Huge credit for the superb visual arts elements belong to Roni Fahima and Shimrit Elkanati.

In their genera of choice, theatrical dance, they are close, perception wise, to the French Slovakian artist Josef Nadj who peaked in the eighties onward. Both use heavily populated sets and the dancers play character roles in a gloomy, surreal micro cosmos. It’s not surprising that Nadj and Pinto, though a generation apart, share backgrounds in other visual arts disciplines.

In Dust, as in most of Pinto-Polak works, the monochromatic look of set, lighting design and clothing, strengthen by choice of musical collage, endow Nordic ambiance, perhaps the farthest point from our bright light, colors and hot, passionate temper.

The evening opens with a most unusual scene; two students stand on classroom chairs and hold a huge paper scroll that acts as a screen for black and white animated film of touching naïve drawings, which sets a mood of a faraway land with rich forests and streams, yet hints at some recent calamity. Water sprouts from the windows of a tall school building, turned desks and chairs floats in the river. Is the classroom setting we see on stage going to takes us back in time, before the disaster? Do we see another Dead Class, an inevitable, strong reference the iconic Polish director Tadeusz Kantor’s work from the mid- seventies? Is death lurking around the corner dressed in a black frock and hat that frame his white chalked face, like the figure straight out of Ingmar Bergman’s film Seventh Seal? Beyond the gloomy mood, there are moments of comic relief, based on exaggerated gestures, Chaplin-like wobbly gait and slapstick style humor.

The ticking clock marks the passage of time and links their fragmented life stories. Soon comes the deluge. Dust is where we’re coming from and headed to. In between we twirl and toil as the angel of death patiently awaits us.

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