A family affair

The dance piece "Relative" will premier this weekend at the annual Curtain Up Festival at the Suzanne Dellal Center.

rubin sisters 370 (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
rubin sisters 370
(photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
Out of the six months Efrat Rubin spent creating Relative, she spent about half convinced she was choreographing a piece about dreams.
Relative will premier this weekend as part of the annual Curtain Up Festival at the Suzanne Dellal Center.
“I was interested in translating my dreams,” said Rubin in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post.
“I specifically wanted to investigate dreams that I had had about flying. In periods of my life that were not entirely positive, this sort of dream overwhelmed me.
In the beginning of the process, I worked a lot with falling because it was the closest physical sensation I could achieve to flying.”
In the spring, Rubin gathered together four dancers to embark on her creative journey with her.
They are twin sisters Michal and Noa Gimelshtein, Alon Karniel and Adi Weinberg.
“I wanted to work with dancers who are close to one another. Noa and Michal are family and Adi and Alon have been roommates for many years. Those bonds were very interesting to me in the process,” Rubin said.
This will be Rubin’s first time at Curtain Up, a milestone for any local choreographer. Over the past several years, Rubin has devoted herself to pushing the boundaries of dance through collaborations with multidisciplinary artists. She completed her studies at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem before heading to Brussels where she studied dance and choreography at P.A.R.T.S.
Her work has been presented in dance and film festivals in Israel and abroad. Together with Asenath (Osi) Wald, Rubin founded the Moving Hold Group, which brings together animation, video and dance.
This weekend, Rubin will be presented as part of Curtain 3, under the artistic directorship of Ronit Ziv. The evening will consist of three works, Relative, Deady by Gil Carlos Harush and Aquarium by Odelya Kuperberg.
Over the past several months, Ziv has dropped in on Rubin during her rehearsals to see how things were progressing. In the end, it was Ziv that allowed Rubin to understand that her work was in fact not about dreams.
“I’ve been in a constant dialogue with Ronit. One day, she asked me what my dreams were about. Suddenly I realized that my dreams are almost always about family, whether it’s my existing family or the family I wish to have. When I was single I used to dream of the partner or the family that I wanted.
“But I also dream a lot about my father and my brother. I understood that I wasn’t making a piece about dreams, I was making a piece about family,” she explained.
The creation of this piece coincided with Rubin’s transition into motherhood. “My son is 11 months old,” she said. “As a young mother, I am dealing with questions of family: ‘What kind of mother am I? What kind do I want to be? What kind of parents do we want to be?’” Once her topic was clear, Rubin began to visualize the family in her piece. “I started with a family portrait I created with my dancers.
There are four characters, each with their own qualities and traits, each with their own thoughts.
The twins are very similar but they each want to find their way to shine alone. Alon is the father but he’s also like a child who dreams of being a superhero.
“Adi is the mother character.
She is very volatile. She is always trying to be part of the action but she ends up ruining things.”
To make her imaginary family more real, Rubin asked her dancers to bring photos from the childhood to the studio. They then recreated the situations in the photographs.
“I wanted to show, using dance, the inner thoughts that don’t come out,” she said.
“When families get together a lot happens. All the things that we push away came up. A lot of these things came up in the studio because I was working with a real family.”
For the set, Rubin drew upon her background in design. “For me, dance and design must always exist together. I used a bunch of props to enrich the movement.
One of them, feathers, was with us from the first days of the process.
I guess that you could say that the feathers are the last remnant of the dreams of flying that we started with.”
Curtain 3 will be presented on November 16 and 22 at the Suzanne Dellal Center (www.suzannedellal.org.il) and on November 26 at the Jerusalem Theater (www.jerusalem- theater.co.il).