Bodies of text

Choreographer Or Marin presents four days of performances at Tel Aviv’s Warehouse 2 that relate to the theme of words and movement.

MERAV DAGAN’S ‘I See Them Coming Closer.’ (photo credit: GADI DAGON)
MERAV DAGAN’S ‘I See Them Coming Closer.’
(photo credit: GADI DAGON)
The essence of Or Marin’s upcoming program at Warehouse 2 is something most humans deal with on a daily basis: body and text. As part of the Artists Curate series, Marin will present four days of performances that relate to the topic of words and movement. Marin is one of a handful of artists to have been chosen to participate in the Artists Curate series, which includes Yasmeen Godder, Maya Brinner and Maya Levy. Next month, Arkadi Zaides will join the list. The project was initiated by the Choreographers’ Association with support of the Bistrizky Foundation.
“The minute that the Bistrizky Foundation put out the call for applications I became intrigued by the idea of curating a weekend that would take the subject of my research, the seed that I’m working on and investigating now, and involve other artists who are working with the same concept,” said Marin in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post. “I wanted to look at the artists around me who are using this subject to create in different ways.”
Marin, 33, is a co-founder of the Or and Oran Dance Theater Company. She and fellow co-founder Oran Nahum met as students at the Thelma Yellin High School for the Performing Arts. Marin was in the dance department, Nahum in theater. Marin went on to study at the London Contemporary Dance School while Nahum pursued his interest in music at Down Beat School for Drums and Percussion in the Netherlands.
Upon returning to Israel they began officially working together and eventually founded their troupe in 2005. Marin and Nahum are partners in work and life and are expecting their first child in December.
“Getting everything done has been very intense,” laughed Marin, who wondered at the exhaustion that pregnancy has added to the already hectic mix of things. This weekend, Marin will don many hats, among them curator, choreographer and costume and set designer. Tucked into the intricate program for Artists Curate is the premier of Or and Oran Dance Theater Company’s newest work, entitled Beware! Low Concrete Mushrooms.
The weekend takes off on Wednesday night with a three-part program consisting of Mr. Nice Guy by Anat Gregorio, Paved Life by Rotem Tashach and Choreography for a Genuine Diva by Uri Shafir and Osnat Kelner.
Thursday night’s program boasts four short works: Fantasizing by Ran Ben Dror, I See Them Coming Closer by Merav Dagan, The Real World by Doron Raz and Fail Better by Uri Shafir.
On Friday evening Nava Frenkel and Nevo Romano will present Distancing and Leaving followed by a sound and text performance by Josef Sprinzak. Friday afternoon and Saturday evening are dedicated to the premiere of Beware! Low Concrete Mushrooms. The foyer will hold an ongoing interactive exhibit by photographer Ascaf.
“I wanted to curate programs that have a connective thread. My invitation is not just to see these pieces in the same evening rather to see them one after another, together. To see the progression between them and the similar elements of these artists’ approaches,” said Marin.
Each of these programs runs between two and three hours, which is significantly longer than most Israeli dance bills.
“I think there is something in Israel that is so quick.
We see performances between work and running home to our kids. I would like to invite the audience to come comfortably and to take their time. I want them to eat sandwiches and drink beer with us, to feel at ease when they enter the space.”
“The programs are very packed,” admitted Marin. “I am inclined to pile things up. I once thought it was a problem but now I see that it’s a language. You can see it in my work and in my curating. There’s a lot going on.”
Beware! Low Concrete Mushrooms has been in the works for nearly a year and is by far the largest-scale work that Marin and Nahum have created to date. The exploration of body and text quickly lead to questions of identity, nationality and gender. “We didn’t mean to make a political work. Our research was the dismantling of identity and as such, as we are Israelis and are dealing with our Israeli identity, the dismantling of the Israeli identity was a big part of the process.”
The result is a “challenging work to behold” according to Marin. The piece features six performers, dancers Omer Uziel, Stav Marin (Marin’s sister), Takanori Kawaharada and Merav Dagan and actors Miki Marin (Marin’s mother) and Yoav Yefet. For the duration of the work, these performers create a live soundtrack consisting of text in four languages by six different writers.
“There is very little silence on stage. The set is made of junk that we collected over the past few months so the stage is full of props that are moving around the space all the time. There is visual and audio clutter.
There are no moments where you can really relax while watching,” said Marin. “I have an amazing cast. I was very lucky. I think that there will be a lot of people that have a hard time with the work but even those people will be able to enjoy seeing these amazing performers work.”
Or Marin’s Artists Curate weekend will take place from October 29 through November 1.
For more information, visit