Choreographer and the Beast

Ruth Eshel

In I am mean, I am, Yasmeen Godder uses the tension created among 4 dancers as a starting point for a process which opens a Pandora box for each of them.

Watching I am mean, I am, Yasmeen Godder’s dance performance, is like watching a horror film directed with brilliant talent.  Godder uses the tension created throughout the creative process among four performers as the starting point which opens a Pandora box for each one.  It is as if the piece actually takes pleasure from extroverting evil, amplifying stress, playing malicious games, all in a crescendo of cruelty.  Except Yasmeen Godder, who is possessed by demonic frenzy, the other dancers project some sort of innocence, like those children from the Grimm fairy tales who are capable of horrible deeds.

Evil is squeezed out when muscles contract and the mouth opens wide, as if asking to feed the hunger for touching the deep point that connects pleasure and pain.  Evil emanates like an overflowing well, with controlled slowness or with energetic staccato thrashes. Yasmeen Godder is the conductor of it all, accelerating the ritual, driving the dancers to abandon their masks, to traverse limits.  The choreography, the dramaturgy, the inner pace of the piece – all are accomplished with amazing talent, arousing wonder and rejection at the same time.

  When it feels like enough,  Godder hands out a knife to one of the dancers, who in return brings it close to her eyes, as if wishing to tear them out,  or under her breasts as if wanting to amputate them,  searching for a sacrificial state in this horrible ritual.  And Godder, with a mask of a predator, crawls around on four, soliciting, urging her to complete her task. The knife is pushed to the naval and a minute before she tumbles on it, c within a split second, she changes her mind and stabs the neck of the animal – the spell is dispelled. Maybe in order to achieve catharsis, you have to let evil simmer to the boiling point.