Within four white walls

Yasmeen Godder presents‘Climax’ at Studio Varda.

Yasmeen Godder's ‘Climax’. (photo credit: GADI DAGON)
Yasmeen Godder's ‘Climax’.
(photo credit: GADI DAGON)
When Yasmeen Godder revealed that she was making a piece that was going to take place at the Petah Tikva Museum of Art, she joined a stream of international choreographers that marry performance and visual arts. A tradition that most notably took root in North America in the 1970s, the juxtaposition of dance in museum spaces offers audiences a freer and often more intimate perspective on the creation at hand.
One year after its premiere, Godder continues to challenge herself by bringing Climax, a markedly site-specific work, into a more traditional theater space.
This month, Godder will present Climax in Batsheva Dance Company’s Studio Varda as part of the Batsheva Invites series.
“Originally, when we presented Climax at the Petah Tikva Museum, there was also exhibition around it that included pieces from my previous works,” explains Godder.
Die-hard fans of Godder’s could recognize props and costume pieces from works such as I’m Mean, I Am, Love Fire and See Her Change.
Now Godder will show Climax against four clean white walls.
Climax was created as part of Godder’s 15th anniversary as a choreographer. The piece, which is danced by six, is three hours long and touches on important moments from Godder’s body of work.
“With Climax, I wanted to touch on my archive and previous works.
It really interested me to do this without weight or baggage, without the pressure of the past,” she says.
Godder assembled a cast that included both longtime collaborators such as Shuli Enosh and first timers (to Godder’s work) The musical that has captivated London is coming to Israel for the first time A spectacular journey following the biggest success stories on Broadway in the last 80 years Tel Aviv Museum of Art July 13-17 For tickets: www.leaan.co.il Phone: *8780 Ofir Yudilevich, Uri Shafir and Edu Turull Montells.
“Most of the cast are people I haven’t worked with before, which really suited the work. I wanted people to come to the process clean and add to it different practices than what people who have been with me for a long time know. There was something very refreshing about it. I think that partly because of this element, I was able to touch on something very private of mine but to approach it without holiness,” says Godder.
In the year since Climax was first shown, Godder has continued to fine tune the piece.
“We keep changing, developing and deepening as we go,” she says.
The work has been presented in Godder’s studio in Jaffa, as well as abroad.
The performances at Studio Varda will take Climax to a new place both literally and figuratively.
“It’s weird. It’s a piece, in its essence, since it first went up in the Petah Tikva Museum, that fits itself to different spaces. Every time we run it, there is a dialogue with its history, where it was and how the audience saw it then. With each performance, we relate to the history and also relearn it. The performers’ experience changes from location to location as does the audience’s. It is affected by how many audience members there are and to what extent people have to strain to see things. The piece can take place in several different spaces at once, so if there’s a large audience you have to make a choice as to what to watch. When there’s less of an audience, it is more intimate, and you can see more at one time.
The choreography is very set but the choreography of the audience is not set, which affects everyone involved,” she explains.
In the coming months, Godder will take Climax on tour to France. Those engagements will fit in with a major project that Godder has recently embarked upon. A co-production with the Theater Freiburg in Germany, Godder is conducting research with dancers, as well as people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Storung is set to premiere in Germany in May 2016.
“This is a very big project that will span a year. It includes dance classes with people suffering from Parkinson’s, ongoing dialogue with scientists and eventually an artistic process that will include these experiences. It’s very early to say, but it’s been a very intense and powerful process thus far,” says Godder.
‘Climax’ will be presented at Studio Varda in the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv on July 4, 5, 24 and 25 at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.yasmeengodder.com.