‘MNEMOSYNE’: EXPLORING collective identity.
(photo credit: KFIR BOLOTIN)
Tamir Ginz, artistic director of Beersheba-based dance company Kamea, named his latest creation Mnemosyne – the goddess of memory and mother of the muses in the Greek mythology – as encryption code.
The work “deals with the issue of collective identity... in conflict with personal identity, shaped by individual memories.”
Ginz expresses this through structural elements, shifting focus between group formations, in more regimented unisons, containing references to rituals and flashes of folk dance elements as representation of the collective, beside solos and duets, which turn attention to the individual. Yet the basic lexicon of the movement is the same.
This is a rather simple solution to a complex theme. On stage, the more apparent conflict is a bit more banal; the conflict between the genders and inherent conflicts within the individual concerning his own acceptance of gender clichés which form, conform and confine him.
Challenging those preconceived notions, all dancers performed for most of the evening in appealing long white dresses with freestyle black stripes.
It is always surprising to see that a man in a dress don’t necessarily look less masculine, and this was particularly the case in Mnemosyne.
The battle between the sexes often accentuated preconceptions; group scenes soon split into feminine roles expressed in undulating hips, suggestive gaze, alluring smiles. Yet in a different fragment, female dancers were the source of control, while male dancers followed, worshiped and accepted their momentary dominance. But not for long.
Ginz kept himself in the politically safe zone in that respect, rarely letting loose, and allowing for only thin humor. It seemed that a single quick kiss between two men frightened all concerned.
Original music by the talented Avi Balleli, set design by Adam Keller, costumes by Inbal Ben Zaken and lighting design by Shai Yehudai contributed to the high production values, well supporting the dedicated dancers and the respectful choreography, which produced some inspired new elements.