Coming up performances:
NoaNoa in "Life in Movement": July 7th, Wednesday, 8:30 PM, Even Shmuel – closed event
NoaNoa is a solo in which choreographer Noa Dar relates to the dancer she was 10, 20 and 40 years ago. The dialogue between her multiple selves’ raises a basic and primal urge to move, eliciting an exploration of memories engraved in her body. The work observes the body as an archive of its own experiences, leading to a search of what remains. In the intimate space between body and memory, the movement reverberates between what exists, what fades away, and what evolves.
“Dar has something to say not only about the body at large but about the female body in particular, which is expected in our culture to mask the signs of aging. This is not to say that Noa Dar makes any bombastic political declarations; on the contrary, this work is so modest and personal that it manages to show just how much the personal is political without the need for slogans and signs… this work is a must see.”
Tal Levin, Ha’aretz newspaper, 16.09.2018
“Manipulating her reflection, she creates a world of images – as though she had embarked on a journey to reach the originary point of a trace. Shadow, stain, breath, reflection and flutter are elevated here to iconic stature. Instead of arriving at any result, she freezes moments along her journey, until they become the focus, ridden of any– the making of the picture is the picture itself. It seems that Dar is restoring clarity to a primordial state.”
Anat Zecharia, Le Visiteur, 9.11.2018
“Dar’s play between the actual body and its reflection, between engaging in a dialogue and then having it vanish every time she diverts attention away from her image, generates a source of tension that is at once disturbing and fascinating. A highly attentive and experienced performer, even Dar treads hazy territory, unearthing time-bound matter like the body and its physical capacity, needing to prove what still exists and come to terms with what is no longer.”
Ora Brafman, DanceTalk, 23.10.18
Interview with Noa Dar on 'Ynet': Click here (Hebrew)
An interview with Noa Dar on the "Kan-Culture" radio station (Hebrew)
“NoaNoa” by dancer-choreographer Noa Dar is a must-see
After devoting years to creation, choreographer Noa Dar returns to center stage
By Tal Levin, Haaretz newspaper, 16.09.2018
Opposite three rows of long benches positioned in Noa Dar’s studio is a large, similarly elongated mirror. The linoleum floor fills the space between the two, and three transparent light fixtures hang from above, resembling plastic sheets, which echo the large mirror. Asked to remove their shoes upon entering the studio, audience members are confronted with their own reflection in the mirror and so become implicated in the show. Shown as part of the Diver Festival, “NoaNoa” is a very personal work by the choreographer. She returns here to the stage (or, more precisely, the studio), after years of concentrating entirely on creation.
Dar is not the first to perform her work in a studio setting, but I can’t recall a case in which the choreographer chose to leave the studio mirror exposed. This is a significant decision and is reflected as it were in the program, in which the title of the piece appears in mirror writing (“Noaaon”). The opening of the dance also calls attention to the set design, as Dar begins by moving her hands across the mirror, playing with her own reflection and in so doing effectively generating two figures from the very start. This doubling of the dancer allows Dar to examine not only the dancer she is today, but also the one she used to be, and to conduct an exploratory dialogue between the two. At the same time, very much like dancers, viewers find themselves in the position of most who have ever taken a dance class ‒ facing the mirror. This setup reminds us that although dancers rehearse to perform in front of an audience, they are always their own, preliminary viewers.
Dar’s choreography makes extensive use of weight transfer ‒ shifting from leg to leg, hand to hand, side to side, front to back. This resonates with the heartbeat, serving as a subterranean pulse for the work as whole. Hands are interlaced and then unravel, clenching to fists as they hit the air only to instantly open up and then guide the movement gently. While her latest pieces did not shy away from exposing the full extent of the body’s pain, here Dar makes a lot of room for the softness, compassion, passion and ease all associated with the very act of moving. At the same time she shows how the most gentle and simple of movements harbor an almost violent potential ‒ intensifying to the point that the body can no longer contain them, becoming crude and ugly.
No music accompanies the choreography, but from time to time screeches and similar sounds of friction are made. Initially these sounds result from Dar’s path along the mirror, as though commenting on the divide between the expectation that the movement be clean and effortless as opposed to the real difficulty the dancing body must negotiate. Dar wishes to observe “the body as an archive containing everything it has experienced” and in so doing foreground the history of this effort, in a world where norms purport to hide it. Dar’s performance reflects a desire not to hide the signs of the aging body: Her grey hair is not dyed, and her body, which executes a demanding 50-minute solo, is present at full intensity ‒ in the sweat, breath and limbs that are hurled to the floor.
It seems that Dar has something to say not only about the body at large but about the female body in particular, which is expected in our culture to mask the signs of aging. This is not to say that Noa Dar makes any bombastic political declarations; on the contrary, this work is so modest and personal that it manages to show just how much the personal is political without the need for slogans and signs.
It is for this reason ‒ and because one may have very well forgotten what a wonderful dancer Dar is ‒ that this work is a must-see.
Noa Dar, “NoaNoa”
By Ora Brafman, DanceTalk , 23.10.18
Noa Dar stages a new solo in her studio in central Tel Aviv. The name of the dance is identical to the title of a book written by painter Paul Gauguin, and what the two share perhaps is a reflection on life’s course ‒ occasions for the artists to review their body of work. Assuming that Dar indeed considers the present moment a potentially meaningful one, her work is likely to run forward and back in time, reflecting the emotional state that such introspection might surface.
Dar’s studio is wide enough to establish distance between the performance space and the three rows of benches close to the wall, situated opposite a long mirror. Dar leans against this mirror as she enters, looking at it and through it. Her body hovers over the surface as she silently moves along its length.
In the space between Dar and viewers ‒ the “stage” ‒ are several light fixtures, designed by Omer Sheizaf. Rectangular and transparent, they hang from the ceiling at different levels. This refined, minimalist touch creates a particular atmosphere ‒ an exemplary product of the present moment. This is the most implicit barrier I can recall erected by a dancer who performs a solo with very personal material, establishing an a priori divide between herself and the audience.
Dar’s play between the actual body and its reflection, between engaging in a dialogue and then having it vanish every time she diverts attention away from her image, generate a source of tension that is at once disturbing and fascinating. A highly attentive and experienced performer, even Dar treads hazy territory, unearthing time-bound matter like the body and its physical capacity, needing to prove what still exists and come to terms with what is no longer.
Following a long period of silence, sounds of screeching, rubbing, crushed glass and buzzing can be heard. These represent all that remains unsaid regarding the transience of time, the fear of further wear, a potential breakdown that will necessitate repair.
At a later stage in the piece, Dar makes the decision to come forward, recomposing herself after moments of contemplation, bewilderment and self-reflection. The movement at this point is larger and stronger, more assertive, recalling martial arts, and relates to the result of the movement, not only its creator. Dar conducts an energetic and thorough inventory of limbs alongside an inventory of emotion. But where is the passion?
The exploration of sensations and memories harbored by particular areas of the body yield non-voluntary movements, as though a demon were voicing itself from deep within.
Now, at the right cathartic moment, Dar sits with her legs crossed, her cheek leans against her hand and she takes the time to look at individual members of the audience, in search of touch. She desires a dialogue with the outside and not only with herself or her reflection.
There is a story here, a dynamic process. Something happens to her. From the contemplative-troubled expression that began her journey inward, Dar arrives at a concluding, manipulative effort, which benefits from a flirtatious attempt to draw a few laughs from the audience. Their chuckles are the equivalent of a “like.”
Yes, we love you, Noa. Love is the mark of existence, approval. The ability to contain.
At once able to contain and shaken up, Noa concludes with walking her hands on the mirror as she takes step after step, advancing with her legs across the glass. Fighting, like this; moving forward, like this. Time is on her side.