It is a fairy tale of vile and virtue
Choreographers Yossi Berg and Oded Graf started collaborating in 2005, and over the years they have built a reputation for work that is supremely physical, sometimes provocative, and by turns poignant and witty. Their recent production, 4 Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer, premiered in Germany to great acclaim and subsequently took Israel by storm; indeed, at the International Exposure festival here in December, the dance won a remarkable amount of both laughs and cheers. Now the pair is bringing the dance to San Francisco for a performance at the Herbst Theater on April 17 as part of the month-long Out in Israel LGBT festival.
San Francisco-based writer Talia Baruch caught a performance of 4 Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer at International Exposure, and the post below is her preview, originally published on her blog. By Deborah Friedes Galili
4men-Review by talia baruch san fransisco 2009:
4 Men is a dramatized exploration of masculine interaction and action. It is a fairy tale of vile and virtue.
The first 4 minutes of the opening scene bring on a monotonous sequence built into a 4-step linear routine carried out by 4 masked men.
And all the while, in the far end of the stage, there lays a magnificent deer, perched on the ground: long legs crumbled in; long neck stretched out, crowned with royal antlers. Fabled & Fabulous.
When one man breaks out of the group’s conformity and spins off, the drama slowly creeps in. But not quite yet. We’re still in for some humorous sweet fantasy.
The 4 men, the intrepid troop, are potent and powerful. They are Studs, Hunters, Greek Gods. They are boys being boys, wrestling, showing off, confessing lustful desires.
“Far, far away in a land of quiet, there were 4 men living in a huge house with a super flat screen TV…”
Soon, their ideal of the ultimate man will be re-defined. And we will be tangled in the twirling twister of their power struggle. We will gasp for air, as they strike and thrust and pound, their heart beats will set the pace for their tapping feet, as they faintly mutter:
“…I’m a lonely man,
make it stop,
Soon, they will forcefully seize, and helplessly surrender,
Like a deer.