By Sharon Fridman
Co production of Oriente Occidente Festival and Mash Dance Jerusalem
"surprising imagination, between fragility and care, where disability immediately disappears to become art" -Angela Calvini, Avvenire
"50 minutes of pure poetry" - Angela Calvini, Avvenire
The body can express its truth when it sets up a distinct language, its own. The body becomes a map of possibilities out of its diversity when it breathes and moves its inequality in relation to other bodies. But in these unequal relations it finds itself truly free. Go Figure is above all a space of diversity where Shmuel can examine how his body operates, evaluate what activates and what defines his movement, and turn it to a bridge that leads to a meeting point with the other. To this call Tomer responds, accepting Shmuel’s invitation for dialogue, crossing the bridge. During the search for a balance point that will emerge from the limitations – which obstruct but also reveal the capabilities of both, a beauty is created, which wants to be no other than itself. A beauty rising from the desire to support without blurring, from the common ambition to be one territory of truth.
NATURE OF PROJECT
The first roots of “Go Figure” originated from “Shape on Us” (2020), a research and creation project by the Vertigo Dance Company – The Power of Balance, in 2020. In the search of a place where the distinctness of a body with diverse physical abilities could be expressed and strengthened, the opportunity arose to create a duet for two dancers, Shmuel Dvir-Cohen and Tomer Navot. Shmuel is living with a neurological disorder, manifesting in involuntary muscle movement (dystonia). In their collaborative work, the focus is not on adapting to normative and accepted movement dynamics presenting a situation of dysfunctionality. In fact, the opposite is true, as this is a celebration and recognition of a unique movement, sometimes unexpected, almost always challenging, beautiful just the way it is and true to itself.
Accompanying the two in this project is the choreographer Sharon Fridman, developer of the movement language Practice INA, based on research on new pathways of contact, equilibrium and support between bodies. “Go Figure” thus evolves into an invitation to familiarize oneself with the functionality and rhythmic patterns of other bodies.
Shmuel’s universe, awakened by the expansion and contraction of his muscles, and above all by what compels him to map alternative paths and directions, is revealed early in the piece. The use of crutches and electric mobility accessories, not only enables the bond that would later be established with Tomer, but also the allows the emergence of a different equilibrium that would not be possible without their mediation, an equilibrium engined by the extension added to their limbs, as if prosthetics of the movement itself.
The creation gradually turns into a duet. After one body has appeared with its unique grammar, a different body emerges with a desire to expand on the same language. This would require an unconditional surrender, without which it would be impossible to understand the language that must appear to co-exist together within the difference. At this new stage, the fragility in dependence, the pulses of power, and the thin border separating concern and coercion are revealed. Eventually, imagination pushes the boundaries toward a deep and respectful agreement that can preserve the balance that is never balanced but is complete in the inherent tension within it.
The work developed through choreographic guidance and training and the personal research of both performers. It is fundamentally a horizontally constructed collaboration, aiming to serve what exists, as an act of love and attention to diverse existence. In this way, the dance enables Shmuel and Tomer to understand themselves as bodies in space, as well as translations of the movement itself.
Artistic direction & choreography:
Management and Artistic assistant:
Shmuel Dvir Cohen, Tomer Navot
Lola Ortiz de Lanzagorta (New Dance Management)
The work was produced with the support of the Israel Lottery Council For Culture & Art and the Israel Ministry Of Culture and Sport, Comunidad de Madrid, INAEM, Ayuntamiento de Pinto.
Go Figure was developed from the piece Shape on us created by Sharon Fridman to Vertigo Power of balance.