Anua Keshikor 370.
(photo credit: Nadav Harel)
Anua Keshikor (“I’ll wander as though drunk”) is a theater piece themed on the
songs and poetry of 16th century Safed mystic Rabbi Israel Najara.
message was that the true link between man and the Deity is achieved through the
mutual passion of man and woman.
His work extols that belief.
is saying that while poetry can attain that aspired-to connection, actual human
beings cannot; they cannot truly communicate with each other, and as Martin
Buber postulated in Between Man and Man, “if I cannot reach my fellow creature,
how can I hope to reach God.”
Actors Danny Shtag and Eyar Wolpe
illustrate the premise through a series of arid encounters. They rarely touch,
are usually physically apart. While a biblically-costumed three-woman choir sings
Najara’s exquisite, sensual poems, He and She bandy the prosaic minutiae of
daily life via Biran’s minimalist, yet emotionally voluble script. Hila
Spector’s complementary videos heighten the disconnect.
A spoon churning
into a whirlpool liquid in a glass is particularly powerful.
are screened mostly onto a thick and mobile Wall that serves as an actual and
metaphorical barrier, its metaphorical function being, one surmises, the
Separation Wall on the West Bank.
The dialogue too is a metaphor: that we
chatter trivia, avoiding the political elephant in the living room.
execution paralleled concept, Anua would have been explosive. Unhappily, the
piece is tedious, because its creators ignored some theatrical basics, not least
pace and rhythm.
Most of the work’s 50 or so minutes moves at the same
glacial pace. Israel Breit’s haunting music is embalmed in slow, as are the text
and the performers’ movements. Diction also matters. In a long, impassioned and
obviously important poem to do with Damascus and water, Shtag is virtually
Anua Keshikor is worth reworking. Put self aside and go
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