The Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company's 'Slug'.
(photo credit: MICHAL HLAVIN AND ODED PLOTNITZKY)
The duo of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak have produced a long line of dance creations at home and abroad, which since the inception of their company in 1992 have won them unusual international respect and attention.
Slug is the company’s first production credited to Avshalom Pollak, after years of tight collaboration with company founder Pinto.
The same fine dancers and several recognizable elements and touches are there, but the work took spectators through different inner landscapes.
The focal point was Zvi Fishzon, a veteran actor and the mascot of the company, who often played low-energy figures, an outsider, and was cast in a line of marginal, non-dance roles. Though he remained similarly type-cast, his enigmatic and intriguing persona placed him center stage, serving in a pivotal position.
The word “slug” has several meanings, yet it seemed Pollak was hinting at the bare snail, without its protective shell, in reference to people who function unprotected in a state of constant defense and find solace in each other but for a fleeting moment. Inspired by this image, the dancers employed various ways of crawling, sliding and rolling, adhering for a moment to passerby using contact techniques, but keeping relationships on the utilitarian side.
Although Pollak, who came from the theater, invested great effort to create more intricate dance combinations, he was caught in some loop that contained the dance, rather than free him to explore other levels of performance.
He did have some impressive components that worked for him, such as the set he designed, composed of endless hanging light bulbs that were lowered and raised to change the space and of course the dancers. Yet, Slug didn’t have the delicate humor and poetic delicacy inherent to the company’s previous creations.