How they do it

Ori J. Lenkinski

As the saying goes, whatever you are doing on New Year’s Eve will be the thing that you do the whole year round. If that‘s true, then 2014 will be a year of curating for Yasmeen Godder. This weekend, the world-renowned choreographer will host performances at Warehouse 2 in Jaffa as part of the Artist Curator initiative. The event, entitled How We Do It, will include the Israeli premiere of Godder and Itzik Giuli’s newest collaboration, Ghost Exercise, performances of new works by company dancers Dalia Chaimsky and Shuli Enosh, as well as a guest performance by the duo Matanicola (Matan Zamir and Nicola Mascia).

“The truth is that I’ve been thinking about curating for a long time,” Godder said in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post. “I can say that in the coming year, without revealing too much, I will be dealing with self-curating and visual art. I don’t know if I will do it all year, but I will definitely continue to be open to the possibility of curating in my life.”

Last summer, in the midst of performances of the trio See Her Change, Godder produced an evening of works in progress that were created by the three artists closest to her, Giuli, Chaimsky and Enosh. With the support of Mifal Hapais, the company presented an evening at Tmuna Theater. The three artists then went back to the studio to continue fine tuning their creations. Giuli decided to develop his work into a full evening, which will premiere in 2014. Chaimsky and Enosh will reveal the fuller expression of their summer endeavors over the weekend.

“I am happily surprised by the influence that this process has had on our work. There is something powerful about going into the studio and facing yourself, creating, building and making decisions that are not easy, especially alone. It moved me to see what it did to each one of them as dancers,” says Godder.

Ghost Exercise is a collaboration of Godder, Giuli and dancers Monica Gillette and Amit Hadari. Gillette initiated the project with the support of Theater Freiburg in Germany, where Gillette works.

“They approached me right after I gave birth,” says Godder. “I didn’t know Monica before, but I knew Amit. She replaced someone in I Feel Funny Today, she helped me by being an outside eye during my creative processes for a long time, and she performed in Alina’s Wall. I found something very touching about freelance dancers that are ‘PIECE OF ME’ (Marc Benayoun) dance highlights events movies television radio dining trying to produce, create opportunities and determine their own work. The truth is that it connects to this weekend. It’s not the first time that I was approached in this way. My work with Matanicola started the same way.

They were dancers that decided to take a work of mine and perform it as their own.”

Over the weekend, Zamir and Mascia will present their newest work, called Piece of Me, for the first time in Israel.

“There was something similar in Gillette’s proposal, that dancers were the ones to initiate the opportunity,” she explains.

In the months following Godder and Giuli’s first encounter with Gillette, the couple, with baby in tow, traveled around the world to perform and create. It was during this time that the inspiration for Ghost Exercise came into being.

“We were flying a lot and had a lot of jet lag,” sighs Godder. “One night in Portland, Itzik wrote a monologue about Sarah the Contemporary Ghost. Sarah enjoys being a ghost because it’s much more interesting and exciting to her than the life she had before she died.

That monologue became the base for the work that we created. We were looking at ghosts and the enjoyment of not being seen, the invisibility and where it exists for performers. We looked at what we see of a performer and what we don’t.”

Without giving away too much, Godder divulges that the end result plays on the line between visibility and invisibility. Ghost Exercise recently premiered in Freiburg, then went on to Strasburg, France, and back to Freiburg. Following the Israeli premiere, Gillette and Hadari will travel to Basel, Switzerland, to perform the piece.

“After the piece finishes in Basel, it will become a piece in my company’s repertoire,” Godder says.

As Ghost Exercise haunts Europe, Godder will put the finishing touches on a new piece, which will premiere at the end of January at Les Subsistances in Lyon, France. The program for this year’s Festival Aire de Jeu is centered on American composer Nico Muhly’s work. For the event, Godder has chosen to present a solo, which she will perform with live musicians.

How We Do It will be presented at Warehouse 2 from December 31 through January 4. For more information, visit