Four Men 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
‘We don’t talk about how to work together, we just do it,” said choreographer
Yossi Berg. He was referring to his decade-long partnership with fellow
choreographer Oded Graf. “If Oded has something he wants to show me, he shows
me,” Berg said.
“We built a non-written system of how to work together,”
“It just works,” Berg went on.
Sitting at a coffee
shop in central Tel Aviv, the duo were the perfect picture of a happy
This Saturday night, Graf and Berg once again present Four
Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer
at the Inbal Theater.
The performance is
part of the Suzanne Dellal Dance Center’s Hot Dance Festival. The two
choreographers have just returned from a long tour abroad, where they showcased
the fruits of their harmonious collaboration to audiences from Germany to San
A large part of Berg and Graf’s time is spent
“We get invited at least once a year to create pieces for other
companies abroad,” explained Graf. “This year we made a piece for the
Staatstheater Kassel in Germany.”
The two recently finished a new work
for six dancers in Denmark, which they intend to bring to Israel in the coming
months. In 2009, Berg and Graf spent two months in Germany, developing the first
draft of Four Men
. They premiered the piece abroad in June and returned
“We wanted to show the piece on a regular basis, which meant
bringing it back to Israel,” said Graf. The original cast included the two
choreographers and two established European dancers. Upon returning to Tel Aviv,
Graf and Berg sought replacements for the other two dancers.
people with very strong theatrical skills,” said Graf.
“It’s not enough
to be a good dancer. Technique is great, but there is a lot beyond technique
that we look for. What’s interesting about a dancer is the essence of his or her
stage presence,” explained Berg.
After not too much thought, Berg and
Graf approached dancers Hillel Kogan and Irad Mazliach. “Both Hillel and
were people we thought of immediately.” The result is a dream cast, of
each of the four performers shines while contributing to a rock solid
is a narrative piece, which is at both times humorous
and horrifying. The piece begins with four men, as the title would
dressed in suits and superhero masks, doing a slow cha-cha on
Kogan begins to tell the tale of these four men, who “live in a
big house, with big rooms and a refrigerator full of beer and meat.”
this satirical representation of all things male develops, Graf, Berg
Mazliach join in for what the choreographers refer to as “the musical
All the while, a large fake deer lies in the corner of the stage.
the course of the show, the audience could easily be mistaken at times
chuckling supporters of a brilliant stand-up comedian. The subject
this piece, however, is anything but funny.
Among other things, Four Men
presents the viewer with conflict, rape and slaughter.
“Of course the
audience laughs when we didn’t mean for them to,” explained Berg.
is interesting. A lot of people have told us that it was very funny but
everyone laughed wasn’t funny at all.
That’s the place in the work that
has a duality. The place of being uncomfortable or not knowing how to
that causes laughter. Those are the hardest moments of the piece.”
think that we tried to attack this subject from many angles,” said
“Humor is part of us so it was very natural to add it into the
“Humor is something you either have or you don’t,” added Berg.
“You can try to force it but it will always feel fake.”Four Men, Alice,
Bach and The Deer will run at Teatron Inbal on July 17.
Tickets cost 90
NIS. For tickets call (03) 510-5656.