Mayumana's 'BE' is the place to be

Rhythm-dance troupe Mayumana has set up camp in NYC before for their anticipated American debut.

mayumana 88 298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
mayumana 88 298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Mayumana, Israel's internationally acclaimed rhythm-dance-performance art troupe, makes its American premiere tonight in New York City's Union Square with its newest high-energy stage production, "BE." BE captivates the audience, igniting the senses with a thrilling blend of music, movement, acting, dance and rhythm. "It's not just a dance performance. Not just a musical. Not just a play. Not just a concert. It is rather a creation based on 10 simple people on stage, having fun and connecting with the audience," BE cast member Hila Yaffe tells The Jerusalem Post. "BE is a journey of the imagination that we take with the audience. It's all about us being ourselves." BE's versatile international cast includes dancers, actors, gymnasts, musicians, singers and a keyboardist and guitar player who "likes to drum on every bone of his body," according to Mayumana's Web site. The show's upbeat choreography constantly draws in the audience as it takes them on a journey of sight and sound. The production highlights various cultures and includes Spanish flamenco dance as well as rap. It captures the talents of its unique performers who use instruments as well as their voices and bodies to make music and provide a visual smorgasbord of dance, movement and theater. "BE is the perfect name for the troupe as the performance is about each member being themselves, incorporating their unique talents and character," says co-creator Boaz Berman. "With us, everything is possible. We have talented people who can do everything. Each one of them is [unique] and constantly evolving. For us the best thing is that the people in the audience will want to be on stage with us, be part of it." Created and directed by Berman and Eylon Nuphar, Mayumana, from the Hebrew word meaning skill, has performed over 5,000 shows for more than 3.5 million people in more than 30 countries since first hitting the stage in Tel Aviv in 1996. BE is Mayumana's explosive 90-minute production created specifically for its American debut. Mayumana creators said the performance has gone through constant re-creation in its 10-year history, increasingly focusing on the individual talents of its evolving roster of cast members who hail from all over the world. "Performing in New York is our dream. We are working so hard and we are trying to make it the best show we can. We strive for perfection and we won't compromise on that," Berman says. "Our goal is to energize the audience, to give good vibes." Mayumana is the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Theater Production by Israel's National Academy of Theater. In addition to BE, Mayumana also puts on the world-renowned children's show ADRABA, which is also performed internationally. The acclaimed show BeJuntos is also a Mayumana collaborative production, launched in 2006 with singer/songwriter David Broza. In addition to its stage shows, Mayumana has been featured in various television commercials and is developing content for Internet and cellular service providers worldwide. "We are very excited to be performing in New York which is the capital for performers. We are also continuing with our other casts who are performing around the world. In fact, for more than six years there has been a Mayumana show performing almost every evening, somewhere in the world," Berman says. The multinational New York cast of BE includes: co-creator Boaz Berman (Israel), Sharon Ben Naim (Israel), Vicente de Andres (Madrid), Michael Feigenbaum (Switzerland), Alba Bonal Garcia (Barcelona), Silvia Garcia de Ves (Palma de Mallorca), Ido Kagan (Israel), Yael Mahler (Israel), Eva Boucherite Martin (Spain), Taly Minkov (Mexico), Reut Rotem (Israel), Ido Stadler (Israel), Aka Jean Claude Thiemele (Ivory Coast) and Hila Yaffe (Israel). "Some of us still can't believe that we are actually performing in New York," says Yaffe. "Coming to this theater everyday is more than a dream. Until now I have performed all over the world and I have seen beautiful places and it is amazing, but performing in New York, well, this is the center of it all." BE is being performed off-broadway at the Union Square Theater. Tickets are available online and in-person at the Union Square Theater Box Office.