A retrospective mood frames Kibbutz Dance Company director Rami Be’er’s latest work, a rich assemblage of short scenes woven into an unusually textured fabric composed of passion and awareness. This is the stuff that artwork is made of, to rephrase a line borrowed from the late poet David Avidan.
Be’er is one of the more important voices on our local dance stage and has accumulated an impressive body of work. The Kibbutz Dance Company is based at Kibbutz Ga’aton and has just celebrated its 50th year. Hence Be’er, also based on the kibbutz and now in his mid-60s, literally grew up with the company.
He has turned his current creation into a cultural journey down memory lane with the addition of several personal references to other art forms such as film, poetry, and a varied range of musical preferences. This detailed and extravagant work has brought Be’er a new degree of artistic freedom which makes The Director’s Cut widely accessible to an array of audiences. It is a pleasure to watch.
Rami Be'er: The director
Be’er is the director in the title and the current choreographic work reinforces his attraction to that newer media which hovers above the stage throughout the evening. Perhaps it was Steven Spielberg’s film The Fabelmans which evoked something in him.
After almost four decades of choreographing, with many of his creations related to social and political issues which will be remembered as canonical, one could hardly expect that these latest fast dynamic sequences would reveal more unprecedented scenes.
And yet, dancers in glam outfits rise with shimmering party hats holding black balloons on strings, whipped cream cakes and an exploding bunch of flowers that produces a shower of red paper flakes, all befitting a Broadway musical.
Be’er the choreographer is also the lighting, costume and set designer, as well as a co-sound-track designer. Until now, his stage has never been flooded with such an intense glow of red lights.
With all the frills and many piquant details, the core of the work is its incredibly complex architectural structure which controls the inner composition of each sub-scene – often based on developing phrases that peak into group regimented unisons and then break into smaller fragments, finally return to the original rhythmical sense. There is no end to each scene’s uniqueness in terms of its specific lexicon, and still, they stay true to Be’er’s accumulated corporal vision.
Towards the latter part of the evening, we had the pleasure of watching several duets on the otherwise crowded and highly active stage. It was an opportunity to see some of the company’s better dancers. Some were real eye-openers in their surprisingly virtuoso craftsmanship.
At the end, the audience showed its gratitude the conventional way – by intensive hand clapping. The dancers bowed again and again. Then Be’er came on stage and started to “conduct” his dancers feverishly, running, jumping and actually dancing along the wide line of dancers. A few years ago, he wouldn’t have dared. Everyone on stage appeared to enjoy the finale tremendously. We did, too.