Sunday, July 03, 2005

(D) June 27, 2005 - (ADF) Emanuel Gat

Assignment: Review Emanuel Gat in 350 words.
Deadline: By 2pm next day
Choreographer: Emanuel Gat (Israel)
Titles: Winter Voyage
The Rite of Spring
Venue: Reynolds Industries Theater, American Dance Festival
Date: 27 June 2005

The Israeli contemporary dance company, Emanuel Gat Dance, made its first American Dance Festival (ADF) appearance with two works by Emanuel Gat, Winter Voyage and The Rite of Spring.

Winter Voyage was a clean-cut duet for two men, had no-fuss lighting and adorned the dancers with plain robes as grey as winter. But the piece was far from dreary. Gat invested a heavy amount of attention to detailing movements, resulting in an act that commanded the audiences’ attention at all times. The synchronisations were beautifully executed. These were coloured by one body echoing another in the midst of a sequence. The completion of a phrase would see a body, like a shadow, cast in front of or behind the other body.

Gat’s choreographies deliberately engage with provocative classical (music) pieces – Winterreise by Frantz Schubert and The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. External portrayals as seen in the smooth and fluid movements hide internal conflicts.

And since this combination (of choreographies) was by no accident, what then is the connection between the two pieces?

Both choreographies were created from a predominantly patriarchal mindset and resonated of the male ego temperament. In the first piece, the two dancers knock against each others’ head only very briefly. This showed how unsure and uncomfortable they were with showing affection. In The Rite of Spring, as if a transition from their life season of winter to spring, men found a worthy recipient of affection in women. But again we see the similar mindset and temperament in the unbalanced male-female equation – two men for three women.

If there were 3 couples, the seemingly endless and repetitious dynamics of male-female partner exchange would seem boring. But with this ill equation, I found myself holding my breath wondering which female would be left out as the music became more intense; therein the suspense.

The Rite of Spring was salsa unplugged with bare-footed ‘wild child’ fighting for men. And finally a woman dominates, with breasts exposed, holding the milk of fertility. Isn’t that the secret fantasy of every man?

(341 words)


The No-Mercy Peer Review

1st para - Need to improve lead; mention that Gat is the choreographer

2nd para - take out 'cut' in 'clean-cut'; avoid using 'beautiful' - it's too general. Please explain why it's beautiful and what about it that's beautiful; a duet IS for two

3rd para - Avoid passive sentences; use more active verbs; replace 'External portrayals' with 'The dance...'

4th para - can be excluded alltogether

5th para - second and third sentence - assumption; heterosexual viewpoint (must be sensitive to homosexuals)

6th para - try 'odd equation' instead of 'ill equation'

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