Berg and Graf supplied fine, communicative dancing wrapped in astute awareness, with a delightful wink.
Yossi Berg and Oded Graf premiered Black Fairytale within the Hot Dance framework.
The work was co-produced with two Danish theaters. The couple, who tour extensively, came for a short visit before they go back to greener pastures, where the creative process is appreciated in more concrete terms.
Their dance theater piece echoes the themes of their previous works: the clash of fantasy with social norms, and politics with conventions – only to find that movement and text have inherent issues of their own.
Each member of the international cast brings their individual quality to the piece, yet Berg’s presence dominates. Not that his dancing is extraordinary brilliant; on the contrary, there is inherent awkwardness to his moves. However, his sensitivities are captivating, and one can almost see the wheels in his head turn. He is smart, loose and consciously accentuates his traits.
Black Fairytale starts with dancers singing simple, optimistic parade slogans: keep on going, live the moment, live it strong. Later on the dancers will experience elation, prompted by love, finding the light bestowed upon them by a preacher, or having a revelation on top of Jerusalem’s Western Wall; realizing that the people on both sides look similar.
But then the elation crumbles, leaving room for eye-opening disillusion. In a mesmerizing finale parade, the cast tip-toe ceremoniously on a pre-marked trail, to the climaxing rhythms of Ravel’s Bolero, each representing a character from childhood fables by carrying a suggestive prop. With each stride they shed their individuality – the high price of conformity.
Berg and Graf supplied fine, communicative dancing and razor sharp, intricately layered, masquerading-as-cliché texts, wrapped in astute awareness, with a delightful wink.