Uncommon experience

Yasmeen Godder presents her latest work at the Tmuna Theater.

‘Common Emotions’  (photo credit: MORRIS CORVEL)
‘Common Emotions’
(photo credit: MORRIS CORVEL)
Whether they are aware of it or not, members of the audience at a dance performance deeply engage in their own choreography.
While the dancers leap and turn, the viewers sit quietly in their seats attempting not to cough or speak too loudly, cautiously unwrapping candies so as not to disrupt the show. These steps, or behaviors, are learned through osmosis, a pack mentality that reinforces itself time and again. But what if instead of staying put, audience members could roam freely and spontaneously throughout the space, on and off stage? What if they could huddle with the dancers behind the curtains or share their lipstick? These questions have been put into play in Yasmeen Godder’s new work Common Emotions, which will be shown for the first time in Israel this weekend at the Tmuna Theater in Tel Aviv. The performance is a sneak peek, as the official Israeli premiere will take place as part of the annual Diver Festival in September.
In several of her previous works, specifically Climax, Godder took the conventional performance ritual and put it on its head. In Climax, which was originally performed in the Petah Tikva Museum of Art’s “Set in Motion,” Godder stretched the amount of time and possibilities for interaction to a new level. The piece spanned three hours in a museum gallery, in which viewers could place themselves at any point in the room, close or far to the six performers. By breaking with conventional performance practices, Godder deepened the essence of her esthetic, pushing all involved, dancer and spectator, to engage in candid and uninhibited ways.
Common Emotions was created as a co-production with Theater Freiburg in Germany and the National Choreography Center of Rillieux-la- Pape in France. The piece once again employs six dancers, a nearly identical cast to that of Climax. Dor Frank, Ayala Frankel, Shuli Enosh, Uri Shafir, Ofir Yudilevich and Ari Tepperberg have spent the past many months working in Israel and abroad with Yasmeen and co-artistic director Itzik Giuli.
The piece uses all available space as its canvas, inviting audiences to stray into the backstage or watch at the front of the house.
Godder and her dancers play on the notion of participation with Common Emotions through questioning the event of performance itself. What causes us to get involved? How do we include or exclude ourselves from group happenings? How much control do we have or exercise over our own emotions while taking part?
‘Common Emotions’ will run at the Tmuna Theater on May 20 and 21. For more information, visit www.tmu-na.org.il or www.yasmeengodder.com.