A loyal following

The ninth A-Genre Festival explores the concept of fidelity in a three-day event of dance, discussion and film.

My true self 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
My true self 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Loyalty is a virtue that is greatly valued in our society. We speak about being a loyal friend, a loyal partner, even having a loyal pet. But how often to we think about the meaning of the word? For the past century, the definition of loyalty has been colored with religious and political hues, depending on the year. In 1911, The Encyclopedia Britannica defined loyalty as “allegiance to the sovereign or established government of one’s county.”
Even though the meaning of the term has changed over the years, the importance of loyalty is a constant.
In the eyes of Yair Vardi and Nava Tzukerman, loyalty never comes alone but as the result of a conflict: – loyalty to oneself versus one’s society, partner, community or family. This weekend, Teatron Tmuna presents the ninth A-Genre Festival, dedicated to the investigation of loyalty. The 20 artists selected to take part in the three-day event were asked to look at their personal relationship to the word. Each one interpreted the task differently, resulting in an eclectic yet focused program.
For the past nine years, this festival has operated out of the Tmuna Theater, which is located on Shonzino Street in the industrial area of Tel Aviv. The theater is set up to host multiple events at any given time. To open as many doors to personal reflection as possible, the festival has offered all usable spaces of Tmuna as performance arenas.
The festival is separated into three sections: statements of loyalty, statements of guests and personal statements. Loyalty includes seven new works, including the film Portraying Sovereignty by Keren Aida Natan.
Noa Dar will present a new solo, inspired by Shaul Tchernekovsky’s epic poem “I Believe.” Dar will dance the solo herself to a newly translated version of the text. This is an exceptional event for Dar, who has spent many years choreographing works for her company. Her decision to present a solo, of her own execution, is both surprising and intriguing.
Smadar Yaaron, one of the founders of The Acre Center for Theater, will unveil a new work based on the notion of public singing. Ariel Cohen and Osnat Kelner will show Other Creatures, which is a visual archive of their creative process. Shelly Felmon and Nava Frenkel will dance their duet, First Collaboration which, true to the title, is the first piece the two women have made together. Felmon will also show Rules and Deeds of a Prankster, performed by Nevo Romano. And Rotem Tashach presents a new solo based on the novel Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood.
The second program hosts a new work by choreographer Maya Weinberg, who danced for Yasmeen Godder for eight years.
She assisted Godder in creating A Study of Sudden Birds, which premiered at the 2009 Biennale Venezia.
In 2010, Weinberg was invited to Italy to create a new work for the 11 dancers of the Fattoria Vittandini troupe. She created My True Self, which follows the group of 11 in their attempts to break apart from one another. In addition, Noa Shadur will screen her new short film Country Club as part of program two.
Each evening, for one hour before the performances begin, there will be a discussion in the theater about the topic of loyalty, entitled “Personal Statement.”
Politicians, artists and others will gather to consider the notion.
Admission is free for this part of the festival.
The A-Genre Festival will run at the Tmuna Theater from January 20-22. For more information, visit www.tmu-na.org.il or call 03) 561-1211.