Evan wrote at length about the incredible performance that we had the honor of seeing on Sunday evening- Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet’s presentation of an all-Naharin choreography, ‘Decadance.’ (Thanks again, Caleb!) Naharin’s choreography is truly phenomenal in that it has the rare quality of being powerful and moving without the slightest bit of pretentiousness. It was invigorating to watch a performance in which every piece was drastically different and yet equally fascinating.
There are a few ballets which truly shake me to my core; dances that are as heartbreaking as they are life-affirming and leave me thinking, “now THAT is why I love dance.” Certainly Tharp’s In the Upper Room is one of them, as is Wheeldon’s Fool’s Paradise and Naharin’s Anaphaza. (By the way, is Naharin making a statement with these titles, Anaphaza, Telophaza, which sound much like stages in the cell cycle, anaphase and telophase? Anaphase is the stage during mitosis in which chromosomes separate before replicating. If Anaphaza is really about separating oneself from the orthodoxy, or the everyday hum-drum of life, then perhaps he is. Or, perhaps I am an over analytical bio major dancer. But I digress.)
(Evan records her thoughts during intermission)
I had seen Anaphaza before at ‘Fall for Dance’ at City Center, and I was absolutely thrilled to see it again on the program on Sunday. I absolutely love the intermission dancer, swinging his hips to 50s sounding cocktail music, and then the large group that joins him at the end of the intermission, all in suits, to dance to Dick Dale’s ‘Hava Nagila.’ But this is just prelude to the heart of Anaphaza, set to Israeli band Tractor Revenge’s ‘Echad Mi Yodea.’ ‘Echad Mi Yodea’ is more like a chant with an odd drumlike beat around it than a song. The dancers, still in their suits, sit in a semi circle of chairs and do a series of upper body movements, flips around their chairs and dramatic waves. As they progress through the piece, they shed their suits and, presumably, their conformism.
I wonder if part of what makes these pieces so soul-shattering isn’t just the extraordinary choreography, but also the music. Room‘s score by Philip Glass, Paradise‘s by Joby Talbot and Anaphaza‘s by Tractor’s Revenge all make me want to DANCE. (When I was in Israel I sought out Tractor Revenge’s bizarre CD for that one song.) As Anaphaza began, I couldn’t help but do a little dance by the wall where we stood, and as I walked out of the theater I felt compelled to sing to Evan as we walked down 10th avenue, in the rain, at the top of my lungs: ECHAD mi yodea. ECHAD! MI YODEA! Echad a loy-enu a loy-enu a loy-enu. SHE-BA-SHAMAIM! UVA’HARETZ!