Living rhythm

Tomorrow, in a joyous homage to 15 years of sweat, rhythm and energy, former members join the cast of Mayumana on stage for one night.

By ORI J. LENKINSKI
May 10, 2011 21:11
4 minute read.
Mayumana

Mayumana dance 311. (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)

 
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On Thursday night, Mayumana will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a special performance. Mayumana shows are a blend of dance, music, theater, comedy, technology and rhythm.

The company, which is the brainchild of Eylon Nuphar and Boaz Berman, invites their devoted fans to witness a truly unique performance, featuring the best of the best of Mayumana’s casts and creations.

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For the past several months, the movers and shakers of Mayumana’s artistic staff have been working overtime resurrecting sections from old shows such as Bejuntos, Mayumana, Adraba and Be. Former cast members, who have since retired and started families or moved on to other shows, have reassembled in the vast studios of the Mayumana House in old Jaffa. For many of these singers, dancers and musicians, Mayumana provided a home and an extended family of incredibly talented artists.

On Thursday, at the Rishon Lezion Amphitheater, they will go on stage for one night only in a joyous homage to 15 years of sweat, rhythm and energy.

Like many feature films, whose success is determined by its lead actors, all Mayumana shows are a product of the collage of talents contributed by their performers. Nuphar and Berman are in constant search of new elements to incorporate into their vast repertory. Cast members have included jazz, modern and tap dancers, flamenco performers, singers and musicians from around the world.

From the moment a creative process begins throughout the entire shelf life of a show, the sections are constantly evolving, drawing on new cast members’ skill sets.

Talia Bik is one of the multi-talented individuals Nuphar and Berman are always eager to meet. She first encountered the duo four years ago, during a private audition for the original cast of Momentum, the team’s most recent production.



A classically trained dancer, Bik practiced drumming as a hobby. Then, in 2007, a friend mentioned that Mayumana might be a good environment for Bik to explore her interests, both dance and music. During the 90-minute show, Bik sings, plays the guitar and various percussive instruments, dances and participates in several comedic skits.

“The first month after being accepted to Mayumana,” explained Bik, “me and all the other cast members were in a creation process in the basement floor of the Mayumana House.”

“We were there every day with Eylon and Boaz. They work so nicely together. They really complete each other. I came from a modern dance background, so I had to get used to their eclectic style of working. But the nice thing about them is that they are very open to new ideas.”

THE CAST of Momentum, like many previous shows, was comprised of both Israelis and foreigners.

“Everyone came from a different place. I had never sung before but they liked my voice so I learned singing. Everyone was discovering new talents and developing them. Some people had never drummed before.”

After a short rehearsal period in Israel, Bik, along with the elite cast of Momentum, relocated to Spain, where the show was further developed. Over the course of 12 months, cast members worked around the clock, until finally, in October 2008, they unveiled the toils of their labor in Madrid. The response was emphatic. Momentum would go on to tour through Europe, the United States and South America.

Since early on in its lifetime, one of the main functions of Mayumana has been touring. In 15 years, two million tickets have been sold to Mayumana shows in Europe alone. The company employs over one hundred artists, the large part of who are members of touring casts. What began as an underground, low budget operation has undoubtedly become an international phenomenon.

“Abroad, when we perform, especially in Spain and South America, you feel that the love people have for Mayumana is beyond coming to see the shows,” said Bik.

“There is a sense of euphoria. In South America we had security guards and people asking for autographs.”

Israeli audiences are perhaps less enthusiastic but are nonetheless loyal fans of the troupe, Bik went on.

In Momentum, Nuphar and Berman employ a wide range of technologies to enhance the viewer experience. In one scene, the dancers create a rhythm by tapping on triggers set around the stage. In another seen, a male member of the cast trails after a woman as she dances and plays multiple instruments, while his video feed is looped on a large screen above their heads. These technological advances give Mayumana shows a fresh, current feel.

“Mayumana shows last a long time because of this innovation. Mayumana will continue to renew and refresh themselves. It’s all about rhythm with Mayumana. First you learn the rhythm and then you start to live it,” Bik declared.

Mayumana’s 15th Anniversary Show will take place on May 9 at 8:30 PM at the Rishon Lezion Amphitheater. For tickets, visit www.hadran.co.il.

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