Matanicola vs. Yasmeen Godder

Under the framework of Maholohet, Suzanne Dellal’s summer dance festival, Yasmeen Godder presented Under, a two-part piece she co-choreographed with Berlin-based duo Matanicola.

Nicola Mascia and Israeli dancer Matan Zamir, founders of Matanicola and the dancing duo of the evening, choreographed the first section while Godder did the second.

Clearly, the collaboration worked well. Each 30-minute section seemed to add its own artistic weight to the piece and had its own choreographic themes, but there were many intersecting zones between them. The connections were particularly noticeable in the dance politics that defied gender roles, sexuality and the singularity of the individual, as mirrored unmistakably in the work.

In the duet Under 1, Zamir and Mascia’s faces are completely covered by thick hair, devoid of any human features. Zamir, dressed in a long denim skirt, lined with form-changing material, acts the female part of the shifting and complex submissive and domineering roles of the duet.

Godder’s contribution to the second part, Under 2, sharpened the issues, since Godder never pussyfooted around. She is bold, gutsy and often provocative, a-priori defying attempts to fit her into a pre-existing drawer.

She takes off where Matanicola left off, sharpening her observation to the point where the volatile relationship unfolds to reveal its warped entrails. Where Matanicola portrays submission, Godder goes into S & M slavery roles, hanging partners and forceful stripping under merciless light. Although dancers’ faces are exposed, their actions defy any emotional involvement, and further – their singularity. It is all in the moves, mostly impersonal. Rarely, a trace of a crack in the shield may appear, revealing a thread of compassion, a trace of connection. It is all in the touch.