Dance Review: Yoram Karmi

The three-headed hound Cerberus in Greek mythology tickled the imagination and inspired choreographer Yoram Karmi.

Cerberus 370 (photo credit: Thinkstock)
Cerberus 370
(photo credit: Thinkstock)
The three-headed hound Cerberus that guards the entrance to the underworld in Greek mythology tickled the imagination and inspired choreographer Yoram Karmi.
Through misty lights on the stage rides a dancer, almost bare, wearing a metal wire head mask – a representation of the mythical beast – and tosses several human bodies off his raft, on the imaginary banks of the Styx river. The opening scene is striking and most intriguing, using stylized movement with high aesthetic value to depict characters and images referred to the ancient texts.
The raft is actually a small square stage on wheels which moves and turns softly and offers multidimensional views of the compositions. One, with strong impact, depicts the three-headed hound, danced by two males and a female who wear the filigree-like headgear, and perform an evolving, tightly knit trio, reminding that Cerberus could see concurrently 360 degrees all around him.
Karmi, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his company Fresco, became a proficient choreographer with obvious talent for harmonious compositions and strong spatial structures. His dance is close in spirit to modern dance, valuing precision, controlled body work and somewhat old-fashioned body perception and dance criteria. In that sense, he occupies a niche of his own, well on the safe side. In the past he often set his works to well-chosen classical music. Now he relied successfully on an original score by Alberto Schwartz alongside Dixit Dominus by Handel, which added a finer grain of sublimation.
Fresco has always maintained good performance value, as it did here, with a group of 11 dancers. Among them, Joel Bray and Brittain Jackson boast a particularly eye-catching presence.