Over the weekend, my family got together to celebrate our parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. Now in their sixties, the happy couple looked joyous to commemorate such a momentous occasion. In the midst of dinner, one of the cousins asked if they could give a bit of advice to newlyweds about sustaining a marriage.
“It’s a long haul,” my dad said. “A good one and a long one.”
“We listen to each other,” my mother said. “That’s the advice I have. To listen.”
This conversation came to mind when I was told about Ido Tadmor’s new evening, which will premiere next week as part of the annual Hot Dance Festival at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv. The evening consists of a two-part program, in which Tadmor and Polish dancer and choreographer Elwira Piorun portray a couple that have weathered many storms together.
“The evening is two pieces by two choreographers looking at two people,” said Erdos in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post.
“My piece is called Rust. I called it that because of the kind of decay rust represents. The couple in the piece are very familiar with each other. They have a connection that has become frozen with the years.
There is deep companionship and love but a lot of other things as well.
Ido’s piece approaches this couple from a very different perspective,” she said. “So there is dichotomy: young and old, male and female.”
Though it is hard to imagine when watching them move together, Tadmor and Piorun are new friends.
They met while Tadmor was teaching at the Zawirowania Dance Theater Festival in Poland, which Piorun founded and directs. Tadmor had been invited to offer master classes, as well as participate in a choreography competition with his duet Empty Room, a comedic dance theater work performed by Tadmor and Mira Rubenstein. Tadmor was awarded two prizes for his work.
Upon meeting Piorun, it was clear to both that a collaboration was needed. Both have dedicated their lives to the stage. Both transitioned from classical to contemporary dance styles, and both currently work as choreographers. They quickly made plans to meet in Israel, where they would spend a number of weeks creating Rust.
“Ido saw Elwira perform and fell in love with her performativity,” explained Erdos.
Even with Tadmor’s jam-packed schedule as the newly appointed artistic director of the Israel Ballet, he was set on finding the time to get into the studio with Piorun. This all came to pass over the past month in a studio in Tel Aviv. Tadmor immediately turned to Erdos to join. The two have worked together for years in many facets. Their professional activities came to a peak last year when Erdos created And Mr. for Tadmor and dancer Stefan Ferry. The solo-turnedduet was invited to tour in North America, Europe and Brazil.
Over the past several weeks, the three have worked long hours to refine and polish Rust. As I write, they are in the studio putting finishing touches on the choreography. For Tadmor, Piorun and Erdos, the studio has become a cultural and linguistic hub.
Representing three countries – Israel, Poland and England – and three different languages, the artists used gestures, broken sentences and movement to explain their ideas to one another. Due to the language barriers among them, Tadmor, Piorun and Erdos were forced to tear a page out of my parents’ book and really listen to one another.
“It was really interesting to work with two people with such interesting experience, not just professionally but also outside of their careers. Working with seasoned dancers is an honor. As for the language barrier, it presented a challenge because it made me realize how much I rely on verbal communication. We were all forced to develop new ways of explaining,” said Erdos.
Luckily for all of them, Tadmor and Piorun naturally fell into step with one another without saying too many words.
“They had chemistry from the beginning. At this stage in Ido’s career, finding the right partners is incredibly important, and Elwira is a perfect partner for him,” Erdos observed.
Rust will premiere at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv on August 27 at 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.
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