Man in pink underwear370.
(photo credit: Ascaf)
When in the grips of crippling stage fright, performers are often encouraged to
envision the entire audience in their underwear.
onlookers in a vulnerable state often provides the reassurance needed to step
into the limelight. However, for the dancers of Maya Levy and Hannan Anando
Mars’ new production Renaissance, this trick may not do the trick. The
evening-length performance, which will premier tonight in Jerusalem, is danced
completely in the nude.
For Levy and Mars, this work continues a chain of
experiments on movement and the body that have each led to a live production.
First, Levy and Mars changed the notion of gravity by placing their two dancers
on a trampoline in Net Work
. Then, they examined the concept of the time a
performance takes with a 48-hour extravaganza. In the creative process for
Renaissance, Levy and Mars looked into what happens to the body when it is
released from clothing.
The artist Marina Abramovic once said that to be
an artist one must be erotic. This sentence became the jumping-off point for
Levy and Mars’ research. Though the end result, in Levy’s eyes at least, is far
from erotic, their initial goal was to delve into the connection between
eroticism and choreography.
Levy and Mars assembled a cast of six
dancers, each hailing from different walks of life. Two of their dancers are
foreigners who are new in Israel. Three are male and three are female. There are
large age differences between them.
“I think that everyone knew, I know,
that everyone knew what they were getting into,” explained Levy in a recent
interview with The Jerusalem Post. “The idea was there before we ever got into
Everyone knew that nudity was part of the research. Anando
and I were divided about the way it had to happen. I was interested in the gap
between the way the body moves with clothes and without so I was much more
technical. I wanted to create material and then see how it looked when the
dancers were undressed.
JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:
“Anando wanted the process to be a kind of
peeling, that the research would naturally lead to the removal of clothes, that
it wouldn’t be technical or mechanical. In the end we came one day and said
‘let’s do it.’ The most interesting thing was that the dancers asked us if we
were going to stay dressed. So we were also naked for most of the research
Immediately, Levy noticed that the women had a harder time
taking off their clothes than the men.
“The women are much more
I feel that the responses from the families of the women have
been more difficult,” she said.
“There were harder and easier moments.
There were moments where we crossed boundaries, when it becomes pornographic,
when it crosses a line and when someone stops and says I won’t do that and why.
Now that it’s going out, we are dealing with how it will be received, how to
protect or preserve it. We don’t want it to be cheap.”
When Levy and Mars
began advertising their performances (with a poster featuring their cast
photographed from behind in the nude), they were quickly reminded of the
friction nudity can awaken.
“Within less than an hour of putting up the
posters in Tel Aviv, the municipality got a bunch of calls complaining. We were
asked to take them down immediately,” said Levy.
They scrambled to add a
censor strip to the poster. After all, audiences need to be reached and tickets
need to be sold.
“If I could I would not advertise at all. I would let
the show run for a while and slowly let the word get out. But we have to fill
seats,” lamented Levy. “Maybe our months in the studio have blurred our vision.
Maybe it isn’t such a simple subject for the crowd. In a normal show we use our
dancers to do public relations and to distribute flyers and such. In this
production the dancers really need discretion. It’s such a small community so
there is a lot of debate around the piece.
Nudity is an issue here, not
because we are provincial or not advanced but because we are in a religious
community, the subconscious is religious here, Judaism is a major force in us
and it is difficult to get around. The piece isn’t provocative for us of for our
dancers, it’s poetic.”
Renaissance will be performed at the Masie House
Theater Center in Jerusalem on July 2 at 9 p.m.(www.psik.org.il), at
Mahsan 2 in the Jaffa Port on July 4, 5 and 6 (www.choreographers.org.il) and at
the Suzanne Dellal Center on July 8 (www.suzannedellal.org.il).
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>