Finding our way: Betty Feves, Adrienne Rich, Yasmeen Godder

Barry Johnson

So, in the past 24 hours I saw a dancer digging fake viscera out of a stuffed animal of unknown species (I’m thinking it was goat-like, though). ..

The viscera? They came from the comic imagination of Israeli choreographer Yasmeen Godder, whose “Love Fire” is a work of comic genius of a sort, almost burlesque, and almost completely unthinkable in the world (1918-1985) that Feves inhabited…

“Love Fire” reminded me of the madcap, internally consistent but crazy world of playwright Richard Foreman, with movement substituting for the wordplay. Because Foreman isn’t for everyone, neither is Godder’s “Love Fire,” brought to us courtesy of White Bird, even though dancer Matan Zamir is incredibly engaging – oh, the earnestness with which he digs out those internal organs! – and Godder herself, bold as she can be, is willing to go to great lengths for a laugh. And you have to hand it to a dance in which one dancer dons the goat-like carcass on his head and the other rides it like Debra Winger in “Urban Cowboy”-and it also makes sense in its own weird way.

All of this plays out to a series of waltzes, both exuberant and melancholy, even a bit from Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21, which someone makes it even more absurd, this rush of activity. What does it all “signify,” exactly? I have no idea, though I viewed it as exemplifying how we get caught up in crazy situations, despite knowing how crazy it all is. At one point in his beginning solo, Zamir was in the thrall of “The Blue Danube,” the timing of his spasms matching Strauss’s 3/4 time, and he looked out at us with an expression that said, “Hey, this is the carnival ride I’m on, what can I do about it.”

Although I found parts of the show hilarious, I noticed that sometimes I was laughing alone, oops, and even I didn’t get the foggy visitation at the end by Yochai Matos and his play with fluorescent lights. But maybe you will! Here’s a video from a different Godder piece.