We saw Naharin's Virus by the Batsheva Dance Company last night at BAM -- Fabulous, theatrical work and brilliant dancing by a beautiful international troupe of dancers. It's a collaboration from the outspokenly political (and anti-war) choreographer Ohad Naharin and the Arab Palestinian musician Habib Allah Jamal, and uses the text of Peter Handke's Offending The Audience. There was an amazing lightness, and animal energy, to the movements. I think the NY Times review is pretty good.
There was a Q&A with Naharin in the Times also, but it doesn't show up in the archives. But thanks to the magic of Google, here it is.
You know, I'm very informed about what's going on. And I have very clear opinions. Right now, there's a real clash between my politics and my country's politics. It's very tragic what is going on because it's obvious that eventually there will be one of two possibilities: total disaster in the region or a big compromise and peace treaty. So, if we don't want to choose the total disaster, then it will be a peace treaty. And if the peace treaty, why wait? Why make all these mistakes? Why not just compromise now?
Obviously there are millions of people in this region who don't particularly wish well for us. But the present acts of the Sharon government don't make it safer. It's not a government that seeks negotiations. It's a government that has an illusion of power. And that's something that interests me.
I think a lot of people in Israel live in an illusion, and that Sharon has infected a lot of people with his phobia. The phobia is really a lack of guilt. It's blaming everybody but yourself. It actually causes you to lose any kind of sensitivity to the suffering of other people. And it's kind of a chronic thing. That's the illusion that I'm talking about. So maybe what I'm trying a little bit to evoke an awareness, just the ability to look at ourselves from a little bit of distance and perspective.
The crowd was a very interesting mix, with sexy Israelis, NYC arty people -- Jackie Hoffman
was in my row, and families with children. There was a smart Jewish family in front of me -- mom, dad, and two young daughters -- who seemed to get a kick out of the section where a young woman tells her mother, on the day of her Bat Mitzvah, "God is an invention, just like pizza."
We had to go through metal detectors to enter BAM, and one of the security guards told James that he liked his anti-war button. James told him he would give him one if he would wear it, and he said, "certainly!" James always carries extras for such an occasion, and recently gave one to a man walking with a rescue dog in midtown.