We are emotional human beings and this is part of our fuel as artists
Interview with Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor (“The Third Dance”)
In your duet, you refer to a work by Israeli dance artists Liat Dror and Nir Ben Gal from the recent past. What motivated you to do so and what relation do you want to establish with their work from the 90’s?
7 years ago we wanted to dance a duet. Just the two of us. But we thought that going to the studio to devise stage material from zero would be too narcissistic, so we decided to take an existing duet and change it in accordance to who WE are, and to OUR artistic vision. The work was titled ‘Two Room Apartment’. After running that show for 200 times, in 2018 we felt it’s time to do go back to the studio to do a new duet that will reflect our maturing. And so we started working on ‘The Third Dance’. We saw great beauty in this duet of Nir and Liat. However, we needed to incorporate many changes from the original version, so it’s really a new dance. We see the world differently than how they saw it, our approach to performance is very different. So we departed from the original version, but still kept some interesting elements of it in our version. Their work was much longer, it was 100% Gustav Mahler music and our version is combining Mahler with Elton John, Alphaville and Steve Harley. Their conclusion and dramaturgy were different and more ‘dance’, and ours is more ‘people’, and many other differences.
In “The Third Dance” the audience watches you from all sides being arranged in the form of a square around the stage. What does this decision give to the piece?
We want people to be close to us and to the performance area to increase the level of intimacy and the involvement in the event. The energy from the stage can be felt stronger when you are close to the dance and in this setting we get the biggest proximity. Secondly, the effect of watching other spectators in front of you on the other side of the stage while watching the performance enables a constant reflection. It emphasizes the importance of the audience in the event – they are always visible and always part of the image and this helps everyone feel that they and we are all present in the moment: we are all here together for one hour.
An excerpt from an interview with Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor for Magazine for Dance, 1/2019. Questions asked by Galina Borissova.