A fluid work

Sharon Vazanna premieres her latest piece, "Bodies."

‘Bodies’ (photo credit: IDAN GLIKZELIG)
(photo credit: IDAN GLIKZELIG)
There are certain moments in life when an individual becomes aware that the human body is outside the range of his control. Our physical needs and responses often dictate our actions, requiring immediate attention.
“You can’t control if you’re going to puke, sweat or pee, and there’s something horrifying about not being able to control these things,” says choreographer Sharon Vazanna.
The natural and yet somehow unseemly sides of the human form are at the center of Vazanna’s new work, Bodies, which will premiere this weekend at Jaffa’s Warehouse 2.
Vazanna, 33, has been researching the scope of the physical body for several years. Her previous works, Red Fields, High and Transparent Borders investigated elements of physicalemotional response. As part of her master’s studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, which she completed this month, Vazanna extrapolated on her work in the studio with time spent in the library.
“The borders of the body are something I have been very busy with lately. I started to read more and write more about biological research and hygienic practices.
There is something in hygiene that we are very consumed by that I feel takes us away from our own bodies. We see bodily fluids as waste instead of a natural part of ourselves. I wanted to address this,” she explains.
“ In Bodies, we deal with these bodily fluids and cavities. When I say ‘fluids’ I mean sweat, blood, saliva, tears, mucus and sperm.
And by ‘cavities’ or openings I am referring to the mouth, eyes, nose, vagina and anus,” she says.
Although the topic may sound off-putting, Vazanna’s visual interpretation of the subject matter is deeply compelling.
“I’m trying to bring the body as it is, without judgment or coverups.
I want to talk about the tension between social perception and the reality of our bodies,” she says.
To make these hidden aspects visual, Vazanna teamed up with visual artist Tomer Sapir.
“We have known each other for over two years and have talked about collaborating many times. body almost as a second skin. This creates texture that you can touch and feel. Something that is usually inside then comes to the surface,” she says.
Bodies is a quartet for dancers Tamar Sonn, Shira Ben-Uriel, Bar Gonen and Nimrod Poles. It is the largest work that Vazanna has created.
“Before this process, I had always worked on solos and duets. Here, I had a little community to share my ideas and process with. That was a truly wonderful aspect of creating Bodies,” she recounts.
At the outset of the project, with a fair share of uncertainty, Vazanna opted not to include herself in the cast, making this one of the first of her choreographies in which she will not perform.
“I think I came to a point in my career as a choreographer that I needed to take a step forward, and that step is to have an outside perspective. Now, after almost getting to the premiere, I see that it was the right decision. I learned a lot from looking and not doing,” she says.
Following this premiere, Vazanna will travel to Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, where she was selected to participate in a four-month teaching residency of the Schusterman Foundation. This engagement is a cherry on top of one of the busiest and most eventful years of her life. Along with completing her master’s degree at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, the up-and-coming artist recently moved to a moshav near Ra’anana and got married.
‘Bodies’ will be performed at Warehouse 2 in Jaffa on December 25 and 26. For more information, visit www.choreographers.org.il or www.sharonvazanna.com.