Choreographer Sharon Vazanna is wise well beyond her years. At 30, Vazanna
boasts a kind of clarity most of her peers find deeply elusive. This week, she
will unveil her newest solo, Red Fields, at the Intimadance Festival at Tmuna
Theater. The work, according to Vazanna, is a portrait of a woman in
In the past two years, Vazanna has presented two solos in
Israel, as both creator and performer. With an enviable resume behind her,
Vazanna is a deft and powerful dancer. After seven years abroad, she returned to
Israel and was immediately incorporated into the Israeli Opera’s The Project.
Though she is arguably in her prime, Vazanna opted to stay firmly seated in her
director’s chair for Red Fields, relying on dancer Ravid Abrabanel to execute
“I came to a point where I realized that in order to continue
to develop my language, I needed to be in dialogue with another person. That
choice proved itself to be right. Ravid and I really identified with each other.
In this way, I feel that I didn’t go far away from myself,” she
The piece currently stands at 10 minutes in length, a short
time considering the number of hours spent refining and polishing Vazanna’s
inspiration. However, watching Vazanna work in the days leading up to her
premier, there was a sense that she could go on tweaking and perfecting the
“When you look over your shoulder,” she instructed a
sweaty, post-rehearsal Abrabanel, “I want to see your ambivalence.”
her second try, Abrabanel managed to capture the essence Vazanna was aiming for
and the two quickly moved on to the following section.
Though short, Red
Fields spares nothing when it comes to effort. With the hearty tones of Verdi’s
Nabucco and Ernani supporting her, Abrabanel dramatically ties her hair back,
preparing herself for the events to come. She scans the room, as would a
cocktail- dress-clad hostess at a fancy soiree. She attempts to retain composure
in spite of what seems to be her desire to implode.
After a short pause,
she gives in, leaping through the space with abandon. She twirls and tumbles
with full force, revealing strength of will that is captivating. By the
end of the piece, she is exhausted, spinning herself into a pool on the
“The tiredness is not out of context here,” Vazanna congratulated
Abrabanel. “Your struggle is real and there is something very right about
VAZANNA’S AIM with Red Fields is to investigate the conflict between
how we allow ourselves to behave at home or alone versus the façade we put on
for certain social situations.
“This piece is drawn from my personal
experience at social settings like meeting my boyfriend’s parents for the first
time or going to a party. It also has to do with my experience on stage, which
condenses this need for acceptance and the feeling of being watched, though that
wasn’t the source. For me, there is a strong tension between projecting a
certain type of woman and not feeling like that woman inside. Like maybe I want
to do something crazy but I don’t let myself. I believe this feeling is
universal, if I can say that,” said Vazanna.
While there is nudity in the
piece, for Vazanna, sexuality was a byproduct of a search for something natural
“We were looking at how we hold our bodies in social
encounters and realized that it affects our muscles and our breath. For me,”
explained Vazanna, “the tongue and the pelvis reveal instinct. So we took the
tongue out of the mouth and it immediately is read as sexual. When we move our
pelvis in a certain way it’s sexual, but for me the power of a woman is
As she begins to encounter audiences with this work, Vazanna is
aware that the piece may be interpreted as provocative or sexual, but has
confidence it won’t be misunderstood.
“My emphasis wasn’t on sexuality,
it was on exposure.
I am hoping the audience will see through the
sexuality. I trust the audience’s maturity and sensitivity with this piece. To
me, it’s about freedom.”
In her search for freedom, Vazanna connects with
the theme of the festival.
“We have to forget who we are so that we can
remember what we were.”
While she puts the finishing touches on Red
Fields, Vazanna is already deeply entrenched in a new creative process on a work
that will premier this fall in Tel Aviv. Drawing on the same quest for freedom,
Vazanna’s new work with mark a new challenge for the young choreographer... a
Red Fields will run at the Tmuna Theater on July 5 and 8 at 8:00
p.m. and on July 6 at 2:00 p.m.. For more information, visit www.tmu-na.org.il.