Hofesh Shechter Company- Double Murder. TAPAC, April 19, 2023

Israeli born choreographer Hofesh Shechter, a former Batsheva dancer and aspiring musician, had settled in London. Within a few years he formed his own dance company and launched a meteoric career of international scope.

On this rare visit to Tel Aviv his company performed a double bill labeled Double Murder, composed of two works; 'Clowns' which erupts as a wild event that slides gently into a bloody yet playful dystopia. The next one is called 'The Fix'.

While 'Clowns' is fuelled by tons of morally misdirected energy, 'The Fix' strived on compassion, yet both are inseparable in many ways but mostly by the specific intimate presence of this particular cadre of dancers and the silky power of the accompanied music composed by Shechter.

On an empty stage stands a dancer, trying to interact with the Israeli audience, by similar tricks that any politician might do on Election Day. He urged them to shout back to him an outdated encouragement jargon slogan- "Kifak Hey" (freely translated- Hurray!  ). It makes one wonders if it ever worked abroad. Although a bit embarrassing, it directed attention to the Israeli aura of that piece; filled with traces of local ethnic dances, supported by the perfectly styled folkloric outfits and spiced with a pinch or two of Batsheva' idiosyncratic moves.

The work is rich in choreographic details structured as a garland of short scenes separated by few seconds of complete darkness which enhance the effect of freshly budding new group compositions and their self deconstruction. Many mini-bites used clear geometric forms like a circle, diagonal lines, and formal unisons relying on fine structure's variations, which cleverly turn into soft simulation of murders; men strangle their partners as they in turn shoots others in a most polite and esthetic manner. Horrors and brutality played as slow motion actions executed without apparent emotional involvement. Slow motion murders played in cinematic frame-by- frame technique which turns horrid events to mundane games. No blood- no harm, or is it?

Obviously, the company is totally committed to the undercurrent messages that reflects social and political conflicts that are central issues on our reality, and their staged dance is a rather sophisticate way to convey a meaningful say in such a refined manner.

The second work- 'The Fix' is much mellower and although it lacks the energetic explosions of 'Clownes', it treads on effective, but softer grounds. It contains similar traits of Shechter's artistic perceptions and takes the risk of promoting compassion, a rather rare behavioral component nowadays.

 The evening ended as the entire cast stepped down and warmly hugged lucky members of the audience. Both sides looked radiating.  Compassion won.