Barak Marshal, who is in essence an Israeli dancer and choreographer, is an oddity within the frame of contemporary dance in this country. Born and raised in California, he imbibed his performance perceptions from his mother, Margalit Oved, the legendary star of the Inbal company's golden age in the 50s and 60s and a powerful force of nature even now, 60 years later.
Rooster follows the success of Monger of last year. For the challenge, Marshal recruited soprano Lilia Gretsova, twelve able-bodied dancers and his Mother.
Relying on a formula similar to what worked for him in the past, Marshal concocted yet another theatrical dance piece incorporating contemporary high-energy exercises in the fetching group scenes. Marshal moves them in simple, sometimes folkloristic formations while using long and elaborate sequences of fragmented moves, danced on a steady bit - be it gypsy tunes, Yiddish songs, peppy jazz that makes you croon or Arab music.
All of Marshal's dances carry his unique stamp of singular synergy, containing ethnic and folklore motives in the movement's style, music and texts, along with contemporary handling of the dance's vocabulary. In a sense, he resurrects the spirit of Inbal and its long gone relevancy. Fortunately, East meets West is more bon ton now than ever.
All that commotion is woven around a surreal story about two lovers. Marshal still feels the need to specify his literary sources - The Maids, by Jean Genet, in Monger, and for Rooster an I.L Peretz story, Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Greek Mythology and the Bible. Some of the citations seem quite far-fetched, judging by the result.
Marshal's strong point and charm is his bursting idiosyncratic baggage, which he managed to improve in the space of a relatively short choreographic career. Rooster, though it, too, was scattered and contained recycled materials, showed wonderful spirit and obvious talent.