Dance review: Double bill

The Klipa Theater group offers a powerful artistic display of two outstanding performers with 'Top Gun' and 'Rite of Spring'

 Hillel Kogan in ‘Rite of Spring’  (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
Hillel Kogan in ‘Rite of Spring’
(photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
The Klipa Theater group, dedicated to performance and visual theater arts, managed to offer for the fifth time a three-week program of fringe, experimental and outside-the- box performances.
The double bill of Top Gun and Rite of Spring is a powerful artistic display of two outstanding performers, Michal Herman and Hillel Kogan, which produced a delightful evening of provocative ideas, plenty of room for thought and a sigh of satisfaction.
Who could ask for more? Wearing a short black dress and a long curly blonde wig, Michal Herman opened Top Gun with some moves aimed at reassuring us that she was capable, well equipped and highly qualified to give a humorous, witty sermon about audience expectations from contemporary dance, while sharply analyzing her artistic tools. She is a “well-known independent artist with exceptional creative and conceptual approach; she has virtuous technique and often constructs complex movement structures.” Well, that’s just a taste of what she says about herself, obviously with tongue in cheek.
Hillel Kogan took Stravinsky’s score of Rite of Spring and tried to revive the scandal that ensued in 1913 when the Ballets Russes performed Nijinsky’s outrageous choreography based on human sacrificial rites in pagan Russia. Kogan took the stage by storm with political innuendos pertaining to fascism, militarism and current affairs, using two small blue-and-white flags to comment on an array of subjects from hora dances and cross dressing to fake aestheticism and consumerism in a mixture of pain, rage, humor and human misery, like an impossible roller coaster of contradicting emotions. Interestingly enough, he used many moves and scenes taken from another Nijinsky 1912 creation, Afternoon of a Faun.
On one hand, that mixture was asking the viewers to swallow a lot without allowing time to chew. But on the other hand, Kogan is a master of self-control that went crazy on us with perfect judgment of timing. This way, he can hint at a point and leave the registration of the gesture and its meaning to our own deliberation. It was thought-provoking, often brilliant and, in the end, a bold and daring choreographic journey where content ruled over form.