(photo credit: Courtesy)
Eitan Harari is a folk dance instructor who believes in you. He believes that
you, sitting in the second row, you are a dancer. Even if you think you can’t
move, he sees the prancer in you; he knows you can do it. For that reason, he
has come out tonight to teach you a few steps, show you his stuff and have a
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In his one-man show at Teatron Hasimta, actor Yoav Bartel,
i.e. Eitan Harari, serenaded the audience with his jokes, choreographies and
deeply personal tales. The Dance Instructor is a moving, painfully poignant
piece, which walks the fine line between tragedy and comedy
The show premiered last month in the small theater in old
Jaffa. Sitting on three sides of the stage, the audience unknowingly played the
role of dancers coming to a folk dance event. Bartel began by informing the
crowd that by the end of the night, each and every one of them will be on their
feet, dancing. Nervous glances were exchanged. “I don’t want to dance,” said one
In the end, Bartel kept his promise.
person in the theater, aside from Bartel’s partner in crime, choreographer
Abigail Rubin, danced.
But what took place in between the promise and its
fulfillment was the really interesting bit.
At first Bartel appeared
peachy and perhaps and tad neurotic. He regaled the audience with triumphant
tales of dances he had created, sessions he led and his overall success in the
folk dance scene. He explained that he is in high demand: that he receives calls
from all over Israel to spice up people’s lives.
He called for audience
participation, enlisting four volunteers from the crowd. The remaining viewers
cheered them on loudly as Bartel taught them steps, took them on promenades
around his humble stage and complimented them on their poise and
As his monologue progressed, a hidden sadness became blatantly
noticeable. Bartel transitioned, in spite of himself, into stories of the army.
And by the end of the sixty-minute show, he had exposed the most horrifying,
shameful moments of his life. There is a happy ending, or at least there seemed
to be. As the piece came to a close, the audience was beckoned to stand and
execute a selection of moves Bartel had taught during the piece. Upbeat music
played as the entertainer made his dramatic exit.
Rubin and Bartel are
life partners. In 2008, they created Hummus, Chips, Salad for the Acco Festival.
The show was set in a hummus restaurant. The audience was served
Rubin is a graduate of the Theater School Amsterdam, where she
received a BA; Bartel studied at Seminar Hakibbutzim in the drama department.
Each created on their own, however, the combination between their talents has
sparked remarkable work. In September, they will create a new street performance
for the Acco Festival 2010.
This piece is spectacular and not to be
The Dance Instructor runs at Teatron Hasimta on July 29 and
For tickets call 03-681-2126.