Telling a new tale

Two dance pieces recount two different narratives – one about man and God; the other about man and woman.

Dance (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
This Monday and Tuesday night, Alice Dor-Cohen and Rachel Erdos invite audiences to an evening called Premieres. The two choreographers developed their work independently and have recently joined forces to bring them to the stage. Dor- Cohen will present the trio One, which tells the story of three men attempting to reach the Mountain of God. Erdos will show her newest duet, Why We Tell. The evening will take place at the Inbal Theater in the Suzanne Dellal Center.
The common thread between the pieces, other than their newness, is their narrative nature. While Dor- Cohen’s work is centered around the clashes and similarities among the three monotheistic religions, Erdos’s focuses on the intimate relationship between a man and a woman.
In Christopher Booker’s opus The Seven Basic Plots, the author hypothesizes that there is a finite number of essential storylines. All films, books, poems and tales are derived from these seven basic plots, he explains. These formulae, as Booker outlines, are overcoming the monster; rags to riches; voyage and return; the quest; comedy; tragedy; and rebirth. Naturally, each of these themes brings a number of famous stories to mind. For example, Aladdin is a classic rags to riches tale, while Romeo and Juliet is an obvious tragedy. Some stories encompass more than one of the basic plots. Lord of the Rings is an amalgamation of six basic plots. And the most famous recounting of sagas, the Old Testament, has at least one example of each of the seven.
The creative process for Why We Tell took place mostly in Ireland, where Erdos was invited to take part in the Blank Canvas Residency Program. Over the course of two weeks in Cork, Erdos investigated Booker’s hypothesis in movement. Argentinean musician Alberto Schwartz, who is a longtime collaborator of Erdos’s, then crafted an original score in Israel. Erdos is a graduate of the prestigious Laban Center in London and of Roehampton University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. She is an award-winning choreographer whose work has been seen in America, Europe and Israel.
Dor-Cohen’s approach to storytelling took her on a quest through several of the finest and oldest tales on the planet, the Old and New Testaments and the Koran. In One, each of the three men on stage represents a different religion: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Dor- Cohen looked closely at the rituals of each religion and translated them into precise movements. During their time together, the three characters learn to accept one another in order to achieve a common goal. The work speaks of tolerance, openness and unity.
Dor-Cohen has been a member of the Israeli dance elite for more than three decades. She was a star dancer and house choreographer for the Batsheva Dance Company. Her work has been presented around the globe. She is a valued teacher and lecturer on the issues of art, dance and performance and has won countless awards for her choreographies in Israel and abroad.
Premieres is certain to be an evening of rich and honest dance.
Premieres will be performed on February 7 and 8 at the Inbal Theater. Tickets are NIS 90 and can be purchased by phone: (03) 510-5656.
The writer is a participant in the event.
Two dance pieces recount two different narratives – one about man and God; the other about man and woman