Dance Review: Yamuna

World-renowned Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore inspired the creation of Yamuna, Tamar Borer’s latest work - poetic dance on top of a three-ton pink stone.

November 1, 2011 22:32
1 minute read.

guy twisting into himself in dance. (photo credit: Courtesy of Tamar Kedem)


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World-renowned Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore inspired the creation of Yamuna, Tamar Borer’s latest work. This poetic dance takes place on top of a three-ton pink stone contained within metal construction, like a gigantic flower with hand-hammered petals that slope downward. Borer, already seated, joined by her cotravelers, Ran Ben Dror and Ayala Frenkel, are about to go on an haunting, internal journey, flowing in the wake of death and longing, love and emptiness, through movement and stillness.

Borer, a disciple of Kazuo Uno, founder of the Japanese Butoh, finds a unique amalgamation of the minimalist, yet intensive movement vocabulary that echoes her own physical constrains due to the accident twenty years ago which left her incapacitated. Butoh requires concentrated attention to quality of movement and its details rather than technique, a detailed attention that is the backbone of Yamuna.

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The opening scene must be one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in a long time. Borer, dressed severely in black, sits stiffly and almost invisibly opens her palms, letting white pearls drop to her lap, to the sand, ricocheting from the metal petals to the floor, making raindrop-like sounds, intensified by hidden sound system, making the entire stage into percussion instrument.

Yamuna, named after the Indian goddess of love and compassion, is the life force, played by Borer, who is there throughout the grief and acceptance process that Tagore the poet went through after the death of his wife.

Ayala Frenkel, as the dead wife, has that beautiful, ethereal spirit look, as she wades in the soft sand, sensing her direction through her arms and fingers, rather than her eyes, like a lost soul. She suited the part to perfection, managing to soften the action of her partner, Ben Dror, and give his actions more credibility. Borer, with her intensity and commanding presence, added depth to the sensitive, spiritual journey.

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