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.

Check this out!

Check this out!  If you are into seeing what is going on the world stage, you won’t want to miss Arkadi Zaides ground-breaking work, Land-Research opening April 24th at the Firehall.  Through highly physical movement, projected images, overlays of texts and music and different styles of performance , five performers from different cultural backgrounds explore how their  inner landscapes are affected by and affect the outer landscape surrounding them and how the current realities in Israel  impact society.

Featuring Palestinian artist and actress Raida Adon; dancer Yuli Kovabasnyan, who immigrated alone as a young girl from Russian to Israel; Ofir Yudilevitch, a dancer with an extensive background in acrobatics and Capoeira; performer and video artist Sva Li-Levy and dancer/acrobatics practitioner, Asaf Aharonson, Land-Research gives voice to each of the artist’s personal relationship to land and landscape – internal, external, conceptual, symbolic, historical, textual and emotional.

What drew the Firehall to Arkadi Zaides work as a choreographer was the high quality of his work and his belief that art is meant to challenge and inspire viewers and to reach out and bring different communities and different sectors of society together.  His commitment to working in diverse communities, including the Arab sector in Israel was illustrated in the highly successful Quiet, which played at the 2011 Dancing on the Edge Festival and is again shown in Land-Research.

“ Zaides excellent performers provide an original dance interpretation of the lyrical idea “ I have no other country” or the saying “ man is born in the mold of his country”  Zvi Goren/ Habama

“Land-Research is a fine work with an experimental nature: it’s potent in its directness, with a monastic finery of taste. The distress projected by the body is simultaneously global and domestic.  The performance demands intense observation, and is suitable for those who are looking for a different type of performance that is beyond the comfort of the pleasantly familiar.”  Ruth Eshel/ Haaretz

Arkadi Zaides was born in the Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel in 1990.  He danced in the Batsheva Dance Company and the Yasmeen Godder Dance group and since 2004 has been working as a free-lance choreographer.  In 2008 and 2009, he was awarded the Israeli Ministry of Culture Prize for young artist in the field of dance and in 2010 received the prestigious Kurt Jooss award for his choreography, Solo Colores.

Push the envelope and join us in welcoming this powerful work to Vancouver.