Dance review: ‘Ana’

Tamar Borer and Tamara Erde collaborate on a refined performance.

Paul Taylor Dance Company 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Paul Taylor Dance Company 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A car accident 20 years ago left dancer Tamar Borer paralyzed from her waist down, yet she persevered and developed as a creator.
Over the years, she concocted numerous ways to move onstage, using support constructions, various contraptions, ropes and harnesses, lying on a piano. Except for wheelchairs she’s done everything, you name it.
Borer’s predicament often made it difficult to weed out obvious compassion from artistic appreciation. There was genuine interest in her craft, although her messages were often diffused.
Not in this case.
Ana, which Borer devised with photographer Tamara Erde, portrays the body as an intimate landscape that echoes the vast desert landscapes with its primordial powers and spiritual splendor.
Thematically, the focal point here is the land that cradles and sunken civilizations, the land that nourishes the ongoing conflict between two peoples who wish to brand it and claim it all.
In one of the videos Borer’s hand puts folded paper in a crack of a stone wall, which we read as a prayer being placed in the Wailing Wall.
Seconds later the frame opens and we see her filling a crack in the Separation Fence with folded wishes on paper.
This work must be one of the more refined political dance performances that have been created here in years. Far from using clichés, Borer and Erde use unforgettable visual images stronger than words, exquisitely esthetic and powerful.
Borer, well versed in Buto, knows how use small gestures, slow moves and contained energy to its fullest impact. In Ana, she mostly crawls, rolls wrapped in woolen blankets, and uses her upper body. Erde supplies the context, the setting, the layering of a point, sometimes just by the movement of the video camera.
This is a great achievement for Borer and Erde by any standard.