Theater Review: 'K'

A site-specific compilation of installations, visual theater, performance art and dance, 'K' engages and enthralls.

By HELEN KAYE
June 2, 2009 11:16
1 minute read.
Theater Review: 'K'

Theater Review 88. (photo credit: )

 
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K Directed by Idit Herman Clipa Dance Theater Prisoners of the Underground Museum Jerusalem Israel Festival May 27 A site-specific compilation of installations, visual theater, performance art and dance, 'K' engages, enthralls, irks and confirms Clipa as the most inventive and thrilling experimental theater company in Israel. The piece is inspired by and based on short texts by Franz Kafka, and starts as the audience gathers in the courtyard of the museum, formerly the Mandatory central prison, where white-suited "warders" exhort, instruct and shill about and for what's to come. K himself (Oded Zadok) stands at the "box-office," dividing the audience into the three possible tracks through the prison - "I," "You," and "the Third." What you see depends on the chosen track. The "warders" hustle and hurry the audience from the get-go. You are processed through corridors, round corners, up and down steps with no time to linger. Is it disorienting? Of course. Doors are locked behind when you enter a cell to watch, let's say, the otherworldly lovely white-on-white "Aspiration to be an Indian" or the sadly comic bread puppets of "The Bitter Fate of a Bachelor." The "warders" chivvy, even scold, and the audience obeys, meekly regimented. And that is the point, starkly illustrated by the repetitive final company dance in yet another prison courtyard as K rushes wildly and vainly from person to person begging each to break free. Submission is not a virtue. Today's revolution may become the morrow's norm. Daring in art and life must be intrinsic to human existence.

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