Borderless dancers

As the curtain rises on Sharon Vazanna’s newest work, Transparent Borders, two bodies lie intertwined on the ground.

Jaffa Port 370 (R) (photo credit: Eliana Aponte/Reuters)
Jaffa Port 370 (R)
(photo credit: Eliana Aponte/Reuters)
As the curtain rises on Sharon Vazanna’s newest work, Transparent Borders, two bodies lie intertwined on the ground. It is unclear which arm connects to which shoulder, whose knee is supporting whose foot and which torso stems from which trunk. As the two-headed creature begins to move and rise, the optical illusion continues. It is impossible to decipher where one body ends and the next begins.
“During my research for this piece I read several articles by psychoanalyst and pediatrician Donald Winnocott,” explained a slightly out-of-breath Vazanna. “According to Winnicott, for the first several stages of an infant’s life, there are no boundaries between the mother and its own body. The mother meets all of its needs. It is a primal stage in existence that I sometimes wish I could go back to. In some ways, I see it as utopia.”
Vazanna went on to clarify that her desire to blur borders with another are not focused on her mother, but rather on the ability to obtain a similar closeness.
“I wondered if it is possible to achieve that same feeling with another person,” she said.
Vazanna has spent the past several years rising in the ranks of emerging choreographers. Born in the Netherlands and raised in Israel, Vazanna began her professional career as a member of the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. In 2007, she moved to Sweden to join Cullberg Ballet. Since returning to Israel, Vazanna has created One To Tango, Red Fields and Feast, which premiered at the 2012 Curtain Up Festival. Her choreographies bring together a deep understanding of movement and candid aggression.
Transparent Borders bears Vazanna’s fingerprint, but is more mature and intimate than her previous works.
This new work, which Vazanna has produced completely independently, will premier Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. at Warehouse 2 in the Jaffa port. The work will be joined by Idan Cohen’s Songs of a Wayfarer. To join her on this project, Vazana called on Tamar Sonn, whose effortless grace complements Vazana’s precision. They began the piece during a two-week residency in Sweden and continued to develop it back in Israel.
“During the development, we were very conscientious about not taking on roles. There is no mother character or baby character. We worked with a lot of improvisation, investigating the idea of cords that connect different parts of our bodies. Sometimes those connections are visible and sometimes they are felt only by us.”
From the amorphous being that is presented at the start of the piece, Vazanna and Sohn gradually break apart from one another, exploring the new space between them.
“As this thing separates, you start to see two people with needs,” Vazanna said.
The climax of the piece occurs to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Waltz.”
“I found myself drawn to that song because I think it asks a question about being alone versus being with another person. There is this sudden freedom of being alone, a gust of air, a flow of oxygen.”