SOUR SWEETS didn’t integrate well enough to produce anything uplifting.
(photo credit: TAMAR WEISS)
Yoram Karmi, founder of Fresco dance company, is an experienced choreographer known for his streaming compositions and eye for aesthetics. In his Sour Sweets – an expansion of older piece – he looks back at an old family album of sepiatoned photos. Karmi fashions the set and stage props accordingly, and uses old-fashioned dance theater to tell the story. The content is a compilation of fragmented memories presented in a non-linear sequence, which only works up to a point.
In the living room of the (dysfunctional) family, Granny drags her feet, aided by her aluminum walker. Around her are eight young dancers that portray various non-distinct family members as well as their relationships, interactions, alliances and old feuds. The fragmented structure, with no timeline, didn’t work well on the pedantically styled set.
Happy or sad, moody or exuberant, the dancers are busy executing the fast-changing compositions in stylistic hodgepodge.
The dominant character is Granny. In act one she secretly sucks her sour candy, portraying a fading matriarch. In the second act, her grandchildren “play” with her, lifting her, tossing her around, making her look ridiculous and irrelevant. In the third, she is an aging, wicked figure, who ties her children with symbolic red yarn, savoring her dominance. In the fourth, she is doing the male acrobatic moves of a Russian folk dance. This was as funny for some as a dancing bear on a string.
With all that detailed choreography, Karmi failed to clarify his point of view.
Contrary to his intentions, there was no real nostalgia there, since the work lacked compassion and a measure of fragile or delicate touches.
Theoretically, Sour Sweets
contained many and varied ingredients, some with good potential, but they were handled crudely, and didn’t really integrate well enough to produce anything uplifting.