Puttin’ on The Glitz

Kicking off Purim festivities, the Clipa Theater presents unique multi-media retelling of Megillah with dance, theater, music, spoken-word.

Idit Herman reinterprets Purim 311 (photo credit: Yisrael Melubani)
Idit Herman reinterprets Purim 311
(photo credit: Yisrael Melubani)
Of all the holidays on the Jewish calendar, Purim is by far the silliest. Costumes, noisemakers and cookies can bring out the child in even the toughest grown-up. And like most nationally declared days of fun, making a decision about where to let your wigged hair down is always tricky. With so much going on, how does one choose?
Tonight, if you are anywhere near the Bursa in Ramat Gan, the choice is simple. Kicking off this weekend of religious festivities is a one-time event brought to you by the Clipa Theater and the Ramat Gan municipality. Several months ago, a representative approached Idit Herman, artistic director and founder of the Clipa Theater, from Ramat Gan. She was asked to create a performance worthy of Purim. Together with collaborators and performers from Clipa Theater, she has put together a modern, joyful and uplifting evening that will get anyone off to a good Purim start.
The Glitz will take place outdoors, on a huge catwalk that has been erected along Betsalel Street. This runway will serve as a stage for the 15 dancers and five musicians of The Glitz. Tonight will be a great time to check out the new Bursa compound, which, in Herman’s eyes, has great potential.
As is custom, each year, we retell the story of Esther.
The ritual of the “Purim Spiel” or reenactment of the Megillah can take on many forms. For the 2011 Purim play, Herman reinterpreted the tale, looking closely at the many themes, which are still relevant in our daily lives. Her multi-media, multi-genre vision of the Megillah incorporates dance, theater, music and spoken- word.
She separated the story into four sections: the presence of money in modern life, women and feminist sentiments, street-life and the power of the masses and aesthetics, fashion and art. For each section, Herman selected colors and images that evoke the theme.
“We didn’t stay very close to the story,” explained Herman in a recent interview with the Jerusalem Post.
“One of the major elements of this show is fashion. Each dancer is covered in body paint. Every painting has a meaning,” said Herman.
In the beginning of the performance, the dancers’ bodies are painted in business-suits, which represent the financial, commercial side of society.
“The dancers are surrounded by hundreds of green apples. They chase after the apples and eventually, become exhausted from this frenzy,” she said. Later in the show, four dancers vie for the attention of the audience, clad in hundreds of diamonds.
This narrative dance is accompanied by the musical styling of Yonatan Kunda and Neta Weiner. Kunda and Weiner are both members of the Tel Aviv rap group System Ali.
“Yonatan has been a member of Clipa for a long time,” explained Herman.
Throughout the show, Weiner, Kunda and three other musicians will rap, sing, play and perform spoken word. All of the music was written specifically for this one-night-only production.
“We brought in lots of extra performers for this piece. It’s a very big production,” said Herman, “and it’s something that will not continue afterwards.”
Clipa’s performance will be followed by a live show by the Giraffot.
The Glitz begins at 7:30 p.m. on Betsalel Street in Ramat Gan. For more info visit www.clipa.co.il