The company of men

Six dancers perform two pieces by Rachel Erdos.

Black/White (photo credit: TAMI WEISS)
(photo credit: TAMI WEISS)
While on tour in Cyprus earlier in the month, choreographer Rachel Erdos was the only woman in the group for days on end. On flights, car rides, at dinnertime and in the studio, Erdos was literally surrounded by men, a situation she has grown quite comfortable with in recent months. The gentlemen in question are the six dancers of Erdos’s evening Black/White, which will run at Jerusalem’s Gerard Behar Center on Tuesday and at Jaffa’s Warehouse 2 next weekend. The performance includes two works – Hevel and The Man Upstairs.
Though the two works were inspired by different sources, they were created concurrently, sharing three dancers. In 2013, Erdos was invited to take part in two major festivals – the Ministry of Culture and Sport’s flagship dance event Curtain Up and the Jerusalem-based Between Heaven and Earth annual festival.
Hevel began with an exploration of the Seven Deadly Sins. Erdos assembled a cast of six male dancers (Yoav Grinberg, Liron Ozeri, Snir Nakar, Gil Kerer, Adi Boutrous and Amit Marsino), each of whom took on a personal investigation of one particular sin. Over the course of several months, Erdos and her cast looked into how each of these characters would move and how they would interact with one another. As they went along, Erdos realized that the work bore a great deal of commentary on masculinity and boy/manhood.
In those months, Grinberg, Nakar and Kerer embarked upon a second process, one that dealt with thoughts about a higher power. In The Man Upstairs, the three dancers touched on a softer, more vulnerable side of themselves. Standing under a stream of flowing sand, each man discussed his feelings about religion through movement.
Following the premieres of these works, Erdos continued on to other projects, such as the duet Castle and a commission for Johannesburg-based Moving into Dance Mophatong. A few months ago, she decided to reopen and reinvest in Hevel and The Man Upstairs. She returned to the studio with three original cast members and three new additions to the team.
Harel Grazutis, Avi Mazliah and Ishai Karasenti replaced Kerer, Boutrous and Marsino. Each new member brought new energy and a new take on what it means to be a man on and off stage.
Their first performance took place in May at the Ya’arot Menashe Festival, surrounded by tall trees and camping tents.
Now, having conquered Cyprus, Erdos and her men will return to Jerusalem and Jaffa for additional showings of Black/White.
Black/White will run on June 20 at 8:30 p.m. at the Gerard Behar Center in Jerusalem; and June 25 at 9 p.m. at Warehouse 2 in Jaffa. For more information, visit