“The beginning of the end”

Ori J. Lenkinski

The beginning of the end

Choreographer Yasmeen Godder premieres her latest piece, which highlights the relationship between Israeli dance and art.

Anniversaries are times of celebration and retrospection. A chance to take stock of what has been accomplished. What were the highs? What were the lows? What should there be more of in the future and what would be best left in the past? For Yasmeen Godder, the 15th anniversary of her return from New York has offered a good moment to strike out into some new territory. This month, Godder is celebrating the occasion with the unveiling of Climax, her first foray into the world of site-specific museum performance.

Presented by the Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Climax is a three-hour dance for seven performers.

A groundbreaking, trendsetting choreographer, Godder has made a name for herself as someone who is unafraid of pushing the envelope. Her arrival on the Israeli scene established a new genre of dance, one that blends performance art, movement, visual art, sound and a lot of gusto. Climax falls right in line with Godder’s signature aesthetic. However, the juxtaposition of this content with the white walls and hushed environs of the gallery space creates a new perspective on both elements.

Since the beginning of her choreographic career, Godder has often employed physical objects in her works. In Love Fire, she incorporated a light sculpture by Yochai Matos. Oren Sagiv’s set gave I’m Mean, I Am the affect of taking place in a dance studio. And while her collaborations have brought art into her work, Climax marks the first time that Godder’s work will be brought to the art.

Godder used the artistic process for Climax to revisit climaxes from previous works. Her intention was not to reconstruct these pieces, rather to de-contextualize peaks by way of movements and emotions from them and transport them into a new context. Together with her dancers, Godder pieced together these mementos into a wholly new creation.

Her cast includes past collaborator such as Dalia Chaimsky and Shuli Enosh as well as new artists such as Edu Turull Montells, Ofir Yudilevich, Uri Shafir, Yuli Kovbasnian and Dor Frank. The performers will dance intermittently throughout the course of the three-hour piece, entering and exiting the scene.

Climax is being presented as part of Drorit Gur Arie and Avi Feldman’s Set In Motion: Dance Art Community exhibit.

This initiative is dedicated to the penetration of dance into the museum space. The move from the stage and studio to the museum and gallery has historically been made by many dance artists including Trisha Brown and Yvonne Rainer and is a current trend for international choreographers.

Exploring the outreach possibilities of performing in unconventional spaces has brought many choreographers to the realization that broader horizons make for inspiration. Whether the dance interacts with the physical objects in the space or not, viewing live and inanimate art together often compliments and enhances both.

Though this trend has not reached Israel as intensely as other places in the world, Gur Arie and Feldman wanted to highlight the relationship between Israeli dance and art. The exhibit will include live performance as well as slide shows and video installations by artists such as Arkadi Zaides, Tracy Emin, Dan Graham and Babette Mangolte.

Climax will be performed on Thursday, June 27, July 4 and July 11 at the Petach Tikva Museum of Art from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.