Art is what you make of it

Renana Raz presents her Youtube innovation YouMake ReMake

Dancers 31 (photo credit: Courtesy of Laurent Philippe)
Dancers 31
(photo credit: Courtesy of Laurent Philippe)
If YouTube were a nightclub, it would be packed every single night. Whereas 15 years ago “the place to be” was a physical location, today it has shifted into cyberspace. YouTube has become a black hole into which hours are sucked, a forum in which to share wacky recipes and exercise routines and a hodgepodge of just about anything anyone can, will or has ever thought of. It is also the basis for Renana Raz’s evening YouMake ReMake, which will premiere its second edition later this month.
Last year, Raz received rave reviews for the first edition of this work. Propelled by the success, Raz presented the final showing of Edition #1 in late 2011 and got to work on the next montage.
Joined by her husband, family members and a host of performers, Raz strung together an evening with a similar feel to an average afternoon spent browsing the Net. Each section of the piece is inspired by a YouTube video from a long list of countries. The performers present their reaction to their video on stage in front of a projection of the clip. The reactions are not replicas but rather interpretations or tangential creations.
As Raz explains in the promotional video for this work, which was also inspired by a YouTube gem, “Both the original clip and the remake receive an added value born out of the new encounter created on stage.” Edition #1 included a clip of a little boy trying his hand at the robot, a Hebrew translation of “Something Stupid” by Frank Sinatra and “The Automatic Dancer” by Zvika Pik.
Perhaps one of the most impressive elements of the YouTube craze is its scope. People of all ages, nationalities and skill levels are represented on the site. In an attempt to keep up with this range of performers, Raz has incorporated a wide variety of artists into Edition #2.
One such performer is Leah Livne. At 84 years old, Livne is as cool as a cucumber about her upcoming role in Edition #2. “When Renana proposed that I do something, it seemed strange to me, as I have a very distant relationship with the stage,” she explains. “I had acted in local performances. I thought it would be strange to stand on stage and make faces. But Renana is very close to me – she is married to my grandson – so I tried it, and it worked. And now it’s happening.”
Livne’s scene is drawn from a video of weight-loss guru Greer Childers demonstrating an exercise called The Lion. In the clip, Childers explains the importance of vitalizing the facial muscles daily. According to Childers, practicing her routine will ward off wrinkles and preserve a young, fresh face.
The first time Livne performed her scene, she had recently recovered from a broken hip and was using a walker. The juxtaposition of Livne’s physical state with Childers’s extremely cheery delivery was a clear highlight of the evening. “When I came off stage…” Livne says, “I’m not used to this kind of attention, there were lots of people, and they received me with applause and hugs and kisses. I don’t think it’s because of my performance but because of my age. 84 is old to go on stage for the first time.”
Livne’s recovery is now complete, meaning that she no longer uses a walker to get around. “This time we have to rent the walker because I already returned mine. I don’t have to use it anymore, but we need it because that’s where I rest my props,” she explains.
Joining Livne on stage will be a new group of dancers and a new selection of videos in Edition #2. From the looks of it, Raz’s intention is to continue to scour YouTube for sources for Editions #3, #4 and #5.
YouMake ReMake will run on January 24, 25, 28 and 29 at 9 p.m. at the Mayumana House, 15 Louis Pasteur Street in Jaffa. For more information, visit