Being objective

Dance theater artist Roni Heller presents an out-of-the-ordinary dance installation.

March 22, 2012 18:29
2 minute read.

Dancer 370. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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If for nothing else, it’s worth going to the Suzanne Dellal Center to hear dancer Roni Heller whistle, in perfect timing, the tune of “La Vie en Rose.” Naturally, her performance has a lot of other highlights. This week, Heller will present two showings of Objective Relations in the Yaron Yerushalmi Hall. The performances will be free of charge and invite audiences to enjoy an out-ofthe- ordinary sort of dance installation.

Heller is a dance theater artist whose performances have bridged the gap between museum and stage works. Objective Relations is comprised of two pieces, each of which explores the interaction with a specific object or set of things.

Furniture is based on the Theater of the Absurd, a movement of writers that includes Samuel Beckett, Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter. These artists’ works reflected a belief that human existence has no purpose and, as such, all actions are futile and absurd.

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Heller’s take on this notion takes shape in two parts: collapse and rebirth. Alone on stage, Heller battles with her inner demons, allowing them to overtake her, and she finally rises from the ashes of her emotional destruction. Her movement style was drawn from the Japanese dance form Butoh and is minimal.

Plank is a trio for two dancers and a plank. It is the first section of Heller’s trilogy entitled Objective Relations.

For this work, Heller drew inspiration from American artist Charles Ray’s Plank Piece. In Ray’s installation work, which premiered in 1973, the artist explores physical possibilities in an empty room, using a plank as his partner. Pinned against the wall by his partner, Ray twisted and turned, hanging himself upside down for lengths of time, then recovering.

In Heller’s Plank, two bodies are influenced by the presence of the object, presenting a new world of opportunities. Heller and dancer Nicholas Cascliar Marquiz will perform the piece. Composer Dganit Elyaqim, who will perform alongside the duet, created the score of this work.

Heller’s objective was to find the most basic type of object, one that evoked the least emotion, and explore ways of manipulating her and the situation to create different feelings. The presence of another performer infuses the work with tension, closeness and the element of surprise.

Objective Relations will run on March 28 and 29 at the Yaron Yerushalmi Hall at the Suzanne Dellal Center. For more information, visit

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