Theater Review: Dancing and Flying

By Reshef and Regev Levi, directed by Alon Ofir at Habimah, August 11

A great many talented people have poured their hearts and their time into what is essentially a waste of it.
Overweighted by both verbal and visual symbolism, Dancing and Flying exhaustively follows the almost pathologically dysfunctional Feldman family as it gathers at the family’s hotel in Netanya to celebrate Pessah. They step a wary path between truth and lies and among the normal and the abnormal, all against the frightful background of the terrorist attack on the Park Hotel in 1993.
There’s the manipulative and controlling mother (Sandra Sadeh); the three sons – wimpy Yossi (Nathan Ravitz), born-again Nimrod (Idan Alterman), and morethan- flaky Assaf – and his anorexic twin, Ella (Rinat Matatov). Completing the happy family circle are Haim Hova as the family’s longtime and blind factotum, Pinto; Nelly Tagar as Anat, torn between Yossi and Assaf; and Amir Hillel as Ella’s boyfriend, Idan.
Reshef Levi writes well. He has an ear for dialogue, a quick and ready wit and can coin a memorable phrase. The trouble (and the irony) is that nothing goes below the surface, so the characters can never really develop a character of their own, indeed are almost stock characters, while the twists and turns of the plot become tedious.
With that, the actors, splendidly guided by director Alon Ofir, have done a sterling job. Their intelligent, passionate and compassionate performances provide what truth there is in the play. Sadeh is especially magnificent as Sara, the mother.
Michael Kramenko’s scaffolding set and plastic-wrapped furniture starkly symbolize the basic and the spurious, while costuming, music and lighting fold in admirably.