Choreographer Inbal Oshman's new dance creation 'Shostakovich at Dusk'

Choreographer Inbal Oshman created a new contemporary dance and named it "Diagonal Sun".

 Inbal Oshman's 'Shostakovich at Dusk.' (photo credit: URI RUBINSTEIN)
Inbal Oshman's 'Shostakovich at Dusk.'
(photo credit: URI RUBINSTEIN)

Inbal Oshman named her new creation: “Diagonal Sun” (Shemesh Alahsonit in Hebrew) vis a vis its title abroad – “Shostakovitch at Dusk.” Both indicate an inner struggle between some central thematic components which influenced the way choreographer Oshman went about creating her artistic structure.

Oshman is very much part of the Israeli contemporary dance community, yet this particular work seems to make an effort to involve unexpected musical choices for dance, involving very personal movements manifestations that echo, perhaps unconsciously, scents from different times.

The dance was accompanied live on stage by the prestigious string quartet Carmel, which played Shostakovich’s chamber music, No. 8 and No. 10 for string quartets. An impressive set design by Zohar Shoaf, composed of diagonal lines of heavy ropes, crisscrossed the entire back side of the stage like two sets of rays of light, which later played an important part in the actual choreography.

Shostakovich, one of the canonic composers of the 20th century, is a product of Soviet culture and is considered to be among the musicians who revolutionized, or modernized, music.

The "Diagonal Sun" dance

Outdoor performance of the Vertigo Dance Company by the Suzanne Dellal Centre on June 30.  (credit: COURTESY OF THE SUZANNE DELLAL CENTRE.)Outdoor performance of the Vertigo Dance Company by the Suzanne Dellal Centre on June 30. (credit: COURTESY OF THE SUZANNE DELLAL CENTRE.)

Dancers Aya Deani, Jullie Moret, Dana Zeharia and Inbar Buchbinder were handpicked and formed a tight ensemble with fiery spirit when faced with challenging choreographic demands. Supported by the determined score, one could often see positions that matched the music’s mood: fists were raised, knees bent with feet situated apart, accompanied by raised arms in defense/attack positions, which formed still compositions found in public monuments of socialist regimes way back. 

In fact, this could be found here, too, in art creations, such as works by political activists such as painter/sculptor Gershon Knispel, and protest painter Ruth Schloss who were active from the mid-20th century onward.

On a parallel level, this section portrayed its major theme – a call for objecting and resisting social bondage and searching for ways of inner personal liberty.

In a similar way, one could feel the expressive currents of Dmitri Shostakovich’s music; so could the viewer who witnessed similar emotions through the dancers’ expressions. While the first act depicted the complexity of contradictions, attractions and bonding – all that may be interpreted as social contacts and interactions among dancers and their position against restrictions. They concurrently portrayed symbolically the ties, bondage or restraint in the brutal sense of the word.

In the latter section, the elegant display of sculptured rays was loosened and the many ropes served as props for the dancers, who got entangled, bonded and tied them up, and began using them as a means of support. This enabled the dancers to lean back safely and perform various diagonal positions which could only be achieved with the aid of the tight ropes.

The intensity, fast rhythms and risk-taking added much adrenaline to the captivating activities and enriched symbolic ritualism to the female empowerment acts, adding zest to the cohesive artistic control and its sharp, activist merits.