Yossi Berg and Oded Graf’s new production is an exciting quantum leap in their work
This dance seems to contain all of the signs and characteristics of the joint as well as the independent works of Yossi Berg and Oded Graf, and it is primarily considered a sequel to their earlier work: “Heroes”, which is very popular in the dance capitals of the world, and “Bloody Disco”. But actually, it’s almost an optical illusion to think so, and in fact it is a leap forward that challenges the spectator no less than it entertains him, from beginning to end.
“4 Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer” was presented recently in its original version for the Dresden Opera House and the Hellerau Theater, and it is now being presented here as part of a collaboration with The Lab in Jerusalem, for the “Y Chromosome” project. Together with Berg and Graf are Hillel Kogan and Irad Mazliach, two dancers-creators who have marked presence. Through the four of them, the production examines the concept of contemporary masculinity, its open and hidden secrets, their ritual passion, the friendship and the competitiveness, the attraction and the rejection, the power and the weakness.
The choreography generates framing group images in which the more personal fundamentals of each of the four are emphasized, from the fascinating solo of Oded Graf in the beginning until the moving solo of Irad Mazliach as the last hunter that ends the piece.
In between there is a breathtaking male duet, the likes of which we have never seen, by Yossi Berg and Hillel Kogan, as well as a breathtaking trio, where Kogan is the ultimate storyteller of a fairy tale about four men, harmonious in body and spirit, when one day Alice stops near them, and her very existence presents them with an ultimatum – more sophisticated than the one in the far distant past that Eve presented to Adam.
Berg and Graf also designed the costumes – black suits and flowery “American” shirts – as well as the stage whose floor and back wall are white, while in the back right corner lies a huge deer), possibly a stuffed one, possibly an ancient primeval creature that watches what happens and awaits his turn, which will in fact come.
The deepest level of the production is added by the four special colorful masks that the dancers alternately wear on their heads, remove and wear again, and the music, which, after the opening Latin notes is mixed into Bach’s Chaconne and violin solos. The lighting was designed by Uri Rubinstein and relates precisely to the lines of the production.
The result of all of these factors is that “4 Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer” is a clearly original baroque production that makes use of layers and combinations, with nuances that burst inside the closed structure of a legend-story, seemingly very entertaining, just like many choreographic moments. Through these they succeed in experiencing feelings, and perhaps even to point out something significant about the creators themselves, like a multifaceted mirror, reflecting various aspects of what may one day be called “Disappearing Man”.