Hillel Kogan in ‘Rite of Spring’ .
(photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
The Klipa Theater group, dedicated to performance and visual theater arts,
managed to offer for the fifth time a three-week program of fringe, experimental
and outside-the- box performances.
The double bill of Top Gun and Rite of
Spring is a powerful artistic display of two outstanding performers, Michal
Herman and Hillel Kogan, which produced a delightful evening of provocative
ideas, plenty of room for thought and a sigh of satisfaction.
ask for more? Wearing a short black dress and a long curly blonde wig, Michal
Herman opened Top Gun
with some moves aimed at reassuring us that she was
capable, well equipped and highly qualified to give a humorous, witty sermon
about audience expectations from contemporary dance, while sharply analyzing her
artistic tools. She is a “well-known independent artist with exceptional
creative and conceptual approach; she has virtuous technique and often
constructs complex movement structures.” Well, that’s just a taste of what she
says about herself, obviously with tongue in cheek.
Hillel Kogan took
Stravinsky’s score of Rite of Spring
and tried to revive the scandal that ensued
in 1913 when the Ballets Russes performed Nijinsky’s outrageous choreography
based on human sacrificial rites in pagan Russia. Kogan took the stage by storm
with political innuendos pertaining to fascism, militarism and current affairs,
using two small blue-and-white flags to comment on an array of subjects from
hora dances and cross dressing to fake aestheticism and consumerism in a mixture
of pain, rage, humor and human misery, like an impossible roller coaster of
contradicting emotions. Interestingly enough, he used many moves and scenes
taken from another Nijinsky 1912 creation, Afternoon of a Faun
hand, that mixture was asking the viewers to swallow a lot without allowing time
to chew. But on the other hand, Kogan is a master of self-control that went
crazy on us with perfect judgment of timing. This way, he can hint at a point
and leave the registration of the gesture and its meaning to our own
deliberation. It was thought-provoking, often brilliant and, in the end, a bold
and daring choreographic journey where content ruled over form.