Don’t be a no-show to Snowshow

The Kremerata Baltica Ensemble joins Slava Polunin’s whimsical circus for a rare and wonderful performance experience.

September 9, 2011 15:15
3 minute read.
Slava Polunin

Slava Polunin 521. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Neither acclaimed violinist Gideon Kremer nor beloved performance artist and clown Slava Polunin needs any introduction. Kremer travels the world as a soloist with his Kremerata Baltica Ensemble, while Polunin (who made Paris his home and experimental lab) tours the globe with his circus, in addition to his Broadway show.

Both are entrancing performers, but Kremer and Polunin sharing a stage is a novelty that is about to happen for the first time at Tel Aviv’s Arts Center next week, in the framework of Polunin’s Snowshow Israeli tour, which includes other performances as well.

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Some may find it a bit strange, but that is not surprising, considering that neither Polunin nor Kremer hesitates to cross the boundaries of their artistic worlds.

Polunin did so five years ago in a Tel Aviv world premiere of his new work, together with British director Terry Gilliam.

Kremer and Polunin have something more in common beyond the willingness to try new things and, as British writer G.K Chesterton put it, “merrily step into the darkness.”

In a phone interview with Kremer, he said, “It is probably poetry that unites us. Everything Slava does, his very attitude toward his life work, is full of poetry. Slava’s music appeals to me. It is always very beautiful, always inviting a conversation. It is never sounds just for the sake of making sounds. It is full of images that reach the audiences’ hearts.

Nowadays there is too much commercialism in our profession, too much music that is offered because it’s familiar and, as such, is easy to emotionally digest and, as a result, is in great demand. Slava’s starting point seems to be totally different. He feels an inner urge to share something that is very important to him. There is something naïve and childlike about it and yet very close to me. This made me recall my youth, when I was attracted to the world of theater. It was only natural to approach Slava who, among all the artists I’m acquainted with, is the most flexible and imaginative. I think he also has something in common with the touching and pure world of Marcel Marceau, who lives in my early memories.”

Kremer stressed that he doesn’t have the slightest idea what to expect from this collaboration.

“When I approached Slava, I didn’t expect to be drawn into this affair, and I don’t know how it will develop. Maybe it will give birth to more shows together or maybe it will remain a one-time artistic encounter. Granted, I’m not going to become a clown. I’m staying with my career as a musician, but at the same time I do not see myself and Kremerata just accompanying Slava’s show. Because probably the major thing about Slava is that he is a personality, while in the world of today personality has lost its importance. Honestly, I don’t know how it will look on stage, although we’ve been working on this project for several months now. Kremerata musicians are not actors. That said, we have created several works that border on theater, and that was why I dared approach Slava. This is an experiment, and that is exactly why it attracts me, not only on this occasion but in my music activities in general – to discover new things.”

So what will it look like and sound like? “I wish I could say that we have created a totally new show,” said Kremer, “but there’s no reason for that. We’ve been discussing the project with Slava for several months, but we have only three rehearsal days and you cannot create a completely new piece in that limited amount of time. In the most simple words, I can say that new ingredients are being added to this tasty cake. That is, within the existing framework of Snowshow, which Slava has been showing throughout the world, Kremerata and I will join Slava and his wonderful actors. Once on stage, the show will start to breathe, and the result could hopefully transcend Slava’s wildest fantasies.”

This intriguing cooperation between tow of the world’s leading artists is not to be missed.

Slava Polunin’s Snowshow, Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, September 13 – 17. North Theater, September 20 – 23, Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata will perform September 14 and 15. For reservations: *6226, (03) 692-7777, *2274, (04) 838-4 777; 841-8411

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