Rina Schenfeld peels off her masks with new performance troupe

Schenfeld will perform both as an individual and as a collective group.

 THE MASKS initiated a new process of discovering. (photo credit: AGI BENDAK)
THE MASKS initiated a new process of discovering.
(photo credit: AGI BENDAK)

‘Our job is to take off the masks, to reach nakedness, the true nature of ourselves and our creativity. It is hard work. Everything I have learned from the greatest choreographers in the world – their blood rushes through my veins and their voice sings in me – but I must peel off the disguises through my art,” says choreographer Rina Schenfeld ahead of the premiere of her new works, June 29 and 30, at Tel Aviv’s Tmuna Theater.

The premier features a solo work by Schenfeld, as well as a work with her troupe.

In her new work, Schenfeld employs masks in order to peel them off. “These days, my goal is to fly low in order to reach high,” she says. “There is no music in this work. I carry the burden on my shoulders: the movement, the sound and the set. I totally expose myself. I speak – not in Hebrew, nor English, Russian nor Arabic – but gibberish. To quote Aristotle, I am the actor, not the thinker.”

Schenfeld created the work in one day. “It was a big surprise for me. It was an easy birth – the work just burst out. I had to force myself not to touch it, not to spoil it, or confuse or improve it. It was a real challenge to agree to that and to understand that it is possible. There are different births.”

Silent shows

On her decision not to use music, she says, “I always choose amazing music for my works and I love dancing to them. But in this work, I decided music was not necessary. Besides a telephone ringing – that sounds twice in the work – there is no music, no soundtrack. I am the dance’s soundtrack. “The phone ring is an intrusion, a sound from the outside world, that is trying to stop me and bring me back to reality, but I do not surrender to it.”

In this work, Schenfeld says “yes” to spontaneity and emotion, and “no” to planning. She finds beauty in imperfection, in wilting; explanations, she says, “often ruin and reduce.”

The six kimonos she dances in represent seasons of life, different moods, memories, doubts and joys – all completely bare.

In the second part of the evening, her troupe will perform Our Masks to music by Meredith Monk, Rimsky Korsakov and the New York-based Israeli composer Ari Frankel, who also wrote the music to her famous dance Jacob’s Dream.

“During the work process together, the masks initiated a new artistic process of rediscovering,” she reflects. “The mask dictated a new kind of movement; as if the body listened and surrendered. We discovered a new way to move – moving quietly, moving a little bit, moving from the inside, finding a different rhythm.”

For more information and tickets, call (03) 604-6745, or email tmu-na@tmu-na.co.il