Contemplation on Land-Research | Donna Spencer


If you are a consumer of world news, you will be familiar with how much we hear about the conflict within Israel between the Palestinians and the Jewish people over the rights to land and to a lesser degree about the conflicts within different factions within these communities around beliefs and the changing world.   But seldom do we hear about the impact of this conflict or tension on the inner lives of the individuals who live in this starkly beautiful country.  Nor do we consider how it impacts their connection to land, their connections to each other and their isolation within themselves serving to feed eventually into the big picture conflict.   After watching audiences at the Firehall respond to Israeli choreographer, Arkadi Zaides’ Land-Research and seeing how moved they were by his integration of the individual experiences of his dancers; by the sound score created by their voices in front of a landscape created by the powerful photography of Yuval Tebol and the video design of Daniel Landau, it reminded me the arts plays such an important role in helping us understand each other. How do we know what is going on within each other if not through our individual physical or creative actions?  And how do we connect with each other if not through those same actions whether it be through conversations, playing sports, dancing, singing or simply telling a story?   Mr. Zaides has created a powerful work that resonates visually and emotionally with audiences and the stillness within the work asks them to consider the next breath, the next possibility.    This work opens the window for viewers from outside Israel to gain a better understanding – a more meaningful connection with the individuals who live there.  The work has only two more performances in Vancouver, April 26 & 27, before the company returns to Israel and for those of you who ponder the challenges of achieving a more peaceful world Land-Research asks you to consider the sociology of those impacted by political and religious tensions and divisions.

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