Photo Exhibit 248 88.
(photo credit: Maoz Vistoch)
An intriguing example of what happens when art meets art, a Jerusalem exhibition entitled Traffic Reports documents the encounter between photography and dance.
Four students from the Department of Photographic Communications at the capital's Hadassah College have been following with their cameras the last two months of rehearsals for the Kolben Dance Company's new show. The company, active in Jerusalem since 1995, explores the language of contemporary dance and references various other art forms and media in its repertoire .
Dan Avraham, Aya Buzaglo, Noam Piner, and Maoz Vistoch had the privilege of penetrating into the privacy of the studio and witnessing the company's creative process up close. The special relationship the four established with the dancers allowed them to realize a series of fascinating photographs that capture moments of intimacy and connection, but also of exhaustion, frustration and pain.
Vistoch says the close physical proximity to the dancers changed his perspective. "Dancers are like actors," he explains. "In the beginning, I tried to approach them and catch them in movement, in different figures. But very quickly, I felt that I needed to look at them as people, not as dancers, and to catch them in intimate moments; to show their difficulties - the despair that arises from the need to repeat the same dance steps again and again."
Photographs of bandaged feet testify to the fatiguing nature of the work and its greuling athletic physicality; pain is a prerequisite to perfection. Dancers caught in rare moments of meditation allow their fragility through. Managing to strike a balance between voyeurism and reserve, the exhibition reveals only what is necessary to allow the public a glimpse at the daily routine of the dancers.
The project, on display in Jerusalem's Gerard Behar Center, is also dedicated to the memory of Bracha Dudai, affectionately referred to as "the princess of the dance," who died last year. Dudai headed the Department of Arts in the Jerusalem Municipality and, during the last four years of her life, was a member of the board of the Kolben Dance Company.
BEYOND THE fresh perspective on the dance process effected by the human encounter between dancer and photographer, the exhibition also provides an exclusive glimpse of the "insides" of Kolben's new piece, Min-Hara, which premiered at the Jerusalem Theater last week.
The title of the show has many associations in Hebrew. It refers first to the word minhara, which means "tunnel," but also contains the words min, "sex," and hara, "pregnant." The production is a journey from the inside out, exposing the body and the soul to the pleasure and pain of the creative process. The dancers emerge from the cocoon, revealing themselves.
Choreographer Amir Kolben's creative process is on display in the piece; his interaction with the dancers onstage and his interventions with what takes place on the floor are no different from during studio rehearsals. The only difference is that this time the dialogue involves a third element - the public.
As in the exhibition, the viewer is invited to be part of the artistic creation; given permission to access the inaccessible, to watch the most intimate, one gets to experience the excitement of the process.
Min-Hara is also highly political in nature, purporting to make a provocative statement about the special challenges faced by a dance company in Jerusalem, where artistic freedom sometimes stands in stark contrast to the needs and demands of the religious public.