Dance Review: Berlin Jaffa Back and Forth

Evening is composed of subsections intertwined with short video pieces, which layer artistic grounds with human-size scenes of urban life.

March 30, 2011 21:50
1 minute read.
Dancers [illustrative]

Dancers in chairs 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The unique cooperation that the Israeli dance group De De and the Berlin-based company Wee has sustained for the past eight years eventually yielded an improved remake of Berlin Jaffa and a most impressive production in its own right.

The evening is composed of several subsections intertwined with short video pieces, which layer the artistic grounds with human-size scenes of urban life. It keeps its focus on small, intimate moments within an alienated setting and goes so far as to break the division between professional and personal life.

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Credit for the evening is given to Ya’ara Dolev and Amit Goldberg, founders of De De, their partners Dan Pelleg and Marko Weigert, and several Wee dancers, but all the dancers are credited as contributing participants.

All nine dancers work extremely well together as an ensemble, endowing the performance with highly polished, topnotch production value, which was a pleasure to see.

By using very clever lighting and dramaturgical editing, the separate scenes fitted and formed a consistent dance approach, favoring pure movement with strong human contact.

Among the evening’s highlights were most of the duets, particularly the moving slowmotion duet set to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” with unusual horizontal lifts by partners of both genders, and the spectacularly smart male duet with oversize coffin-like cardboard boxes. All together, the duets and group sections – many in unison – slow or fast ones, pensive or impishly funny, the evening retained intelligent, aesthetic control and a finesse along logical kinetic work that is all too often missing from our own dance stages.

This highly refined evening proves the talent and capabilities of the De De group, which we don’t get to see too often.

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