Forman Brothers 370.
(photo credit: Irena Vodakova)
The essence of kung fu, we are told, is morality, energy, harmony. Throughout
each of its nine scenes, the young artists of this PRC dance theater company
demonstrate these tenets, as well as Liu Zhen’s spectacular choreography, with a
Purity, diligence, devotion and serenity are among
the nine attributes (scrolls) of kungfu that the devotee learns to master.
Wearing different and attractive costumes for each scroll, the actor-dancers use
a variety of props and set pieces to illustrate its precepts, among them tables,
food bowls, orange paper parasols and moving bamboo glades.
soloists, 12-yearold Bao Tianyu has an impressive presence. Moreover, like the
boy he still is, he allows his mischievous self to peek out often. Indeed, there
are welcome flashes of an impish humor in a work that otherwise takes itself
seriously. Fluid and lyrical, Kungfu Revelations demonstrates that martial arts
are a spiritual discipline as well.The Forman Brothers Obludarium Israel
Festival, June 1
Billed as a circus cabaret, the Forman Bothers’ Obludarium,
seems to be a parody of the real thing. Performers and “officials” alike are
dressed in tawdrily shiny or shabby, much-mended costumes. The “artistes” aren’t
that skilled. It’s all a bit like a provincial circus that has seen better
Conjecturing from there, perhaps it’s society that has seen better
Squashed side by side on two tiers of uncomfortable benches, the
audience must endure about 35 minutes of near-total darkness at the start of
this two-hour-plus show, in which the performers are lit only fitfully. Not that
the lighting gets much better throughout.
This “circus” combines the
usual circus acts – the bareback rider, the flying trapeze, dressage by a
life-size and impressive puppet “horse” – with carnival sideshows, such as the
bearded lady, the circus strongman and Punch and Judy.
all rather tediously tongue-in-cheek.
The only truly enjoyable – not to
mention funny – act is a running gag involving three bewildered ancients, or so
imply the oversize, garishly colored puppet heads the performers wear, trying to
get away from their lugubrious keeper, who himself introduces them in an