Surveillance is a groundbreaking collaboration of contemporary dance, interactive video design and animation, in which ZviDance explores how we respond to the omnipresence of surveillance technology in our daily lives. Video projections and animations designed by Hertog Nadler are live-streamed throughout the evening - blurring the lines between voyeur and exhibitionist. Composer Scott Killian, in collaboration with Chanteuse Alison Clancy and hip-hop artist Wilkis Ideology Figuereo, create an aura landscape that explores and exploits sounds and music that are both familiar to us - and yet, oftentimes unheard. Ultimately, Surveillance is a multi-discilinary piece which reflects on the ever-increasing use of surveillance technology in our contemporary lives.
A few words about the creation of DABKE:
The idea of creating a contemporary dance piece based on a Middle Eastern folk dance revealed itself in a Lebanese restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. My Israeli partner and a Lebanese waiter became friendly and were soon dancing the Dabke between tables. While patrons cheered, I remained still, transfixed, all the while envisioning this as material for a new piece.
Dabke (translated from Arabic as stomping of the feet) is a traditional folk dance and is now the national dance of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Palestine. Israelis have their own version. It is a line dance often performed at weddings, holidays and community celebrations. The dance strongly references solidarity, and traditionally only men participated. The dancers, linked by hands or shoulders, stomp the ground with complex rhythms, emphasizing their connection to the land. While the group keeps rhythm, the leader, called Raas (meaning "head"), improvises on pre-choreographed movement phrases. He also twirls a handkerchief or string of beads known as a Masbha.
As a child and teenager growing up in a Kibbutz in northern Israel, Friday nights were folk dance nights. This tradition continues today. One of the most beloved of these dances is a Debka, albeit an Israeli rendition of the Arab Dabke. The Israeli Debka and the Arab Dabke are linked historically. During the first decades of the 20th Century, Jews migrated from Europe to Palestine in large waves. The leaders and intellectuals of this movement made a deliberate effort to create an authentic Israeli culture that differed from the old world image of European Judaism. No longer the meek, the victim, the wanderer, these Jews were viral, masculine, and rooted to the land. Although forever in territorial conflict with their neighbors, the Israelis borrowed elements from Arabic culture that captured the sound, color, taste and rhythm of the Levant. Dabke is a case in point.
I have great admiration for the Dabke dancers of the Middle East. They are magnificent, athletic, loose, spontaneous and on occasion ecstatic. I have watched hundreds of Dabke clips on YouTube. This virtual expedition has shown me the importance of Dabke as a cultural sharpener as well as a diffuser of Middle Eastern identity in that all speak its language. I decided to craft a choreographic process, using the internet as my research tool in order to learn the Dabke form. I invited each dancer in my company to select their favorite Dabke clip from YouTube. Together we studied the dancer’s movement, phrasing, rhythmical foot work, hand gestures and general body language. We then fused this material with contemporary movement. Our intention was not to reconstruct a traditional Dabke dance per se, but to use it as inspiration for exploring a different movement sensibility.
Premiere: April 7-10, 2010 at Dance Theater Workshop
Choreography: Zvi Gotheiner in collaboration with the dancers
Video Design: Tal Yarden
Composer: Scott Killian & contemporary Brazilian music
Costume Design: Liz Prince
Lighting Design: Mark London
Length: 63 minutes, no intermission
Dancers: 8 for touring ensemble
ZOOM integrates dance, cell phones, video projection, a real-time web interface and live music. Conceived by Zvi Gotheiner and his artistic team, ZOOM shatters the wall between audience and performers, creating a new type of interactive performance environment. During performances of ZOOM, audience members take cell phone photos and text them to the visual designer, who projects them as real-time video collages. Text messages between audience and performers are also projected live in an exhilarating and unscripted dialogue. And without the use of spoken words, audience members are invited to cross the proscenium to take close-ups of the performers, finding themselves in a radically different relationship to the creative process.