For the past three decades, Inbal Pinto has maintained an acclaimed career here and abroad as a choreographer with unique attributes. Although her work has evolved and broadened over the years, her dance creations have maintained their ties with the dance-theater genre, bordering on the surreal.
In recent years, Pinto left the company she founded years ago to become an independent choreographer. Now, she premieres a highly challenging piece – “Living Room” – which originally started as a solo piece, first was designed for dancer Moran Muller during the covid lockdown days. Eventually, it morphed into a solo/duet hybrid when dancer Itamar Serussi joined for the second half. It enabled the work to deepen and enrich its narrative and diverse emotional scope.
Both needed to portray characters that use quirky physical attributes and perplexing emotional manifestations, while convincing viewers that inside, they are just like us, but with a twist.
Working on the minute details of the choreography as if she were weaving a silk carpet, Pinto polished the finer layers of the narrative, emotional landscapes, intimate relations between performers and the stage’s objects – a practice which became her work’s signature.
In that sense, she treated each element in the work with delicacy and precision, not practiced too often. Artistically, her choices in regard to movement and overall design are transparent. She managed in the past, and certainly now, to conceptualize an encapsulated imagined universe outside of reality, which is totally human.
The characters’ moves were fragmented and often didn’t sync, as if each limb has its own will in order to create an estranged ambiance. In their world, a chair that moves at will, a light fixture that interacts with the dancer, or a man who crawls out of a small commode adjacent to the wall, can be perceived as normal, as is a person who disappears through a crack in the wall right into the next phantasm universe. In the last scene, we see it on the back screen as a spirit surrounded by fireflies, birds in the most beautiful monochromatic red garden, painted by Pinto.
In hindsight, the performance was hand-tailored for dancer Muller, as her tour de force.
Pinto’s “Living Room” is a gem, immersed in beauty and solitude, with an inherent need to reach out and touch as part of our fluid existence. One stands in awe when an artist can share their ingenuity and soul in such a cohesive manner, and Pinto could.