For my last birthday my brothers and sisters bought me tickets for a dance show. I was really excited to go since I’ve danced most of my life and hadn’t seen a show for ages. But I definitely was not prepared to see this. Political Mother : choreographer’s cut is not your regular contemporary dance show.
When you think of contemporary dance you think about a really classy theatre in which you barely dare to talk to the people you came in with, and more often than not, you are worried you might get bored (or in my case, fall asleep!). But no chance there.
Of course there is a lot of (great) dancing involved, but during the show you can’t help but wonder : am I at a dance show or at a rock concert? Talk about combining the unrelated. Everything from the way the venue is organized leaves you wondering. There is a seated area of course, but there is also a mosh pit where half the audience is standing. Ushers are giving you earplugs, while warning you that it will be loud. And it will be !
The show opens with a single figure, a Japanese samurai, committing hara-kiri. A string octet plays a stirring, mournful Hebraic folk melody, which is then covered by the metallic thrash of four rock guitarists and seven drums. This combination summarises the whole work: elements that are a little bit folky, combined with energetic contemporary dance and hard rock. During the show 16 dancers and 24 musicians will come and go on stage.
So who created this hybrid show ?
Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter arrived in London in 2002. He had trained as a dancer in Jerusalem and as a percussionist in Tel Aviv and Paris. Shechter’s love of rock music in general, and of drumming in particular, is really visible in Political Mother, that he created in 2010 and revived in 2011 as an expanded “choreographer’s cut”. Hofesh Schechter definitely has combined his multiple interests in his life and career. Great dancer and choreographer, he also is a musician and composed most of the music you can hear during the show and even sings the guttural hard rock singing parts.
From my research I learned that Schechter started combining his passions in his work back in 2007. His piece In your Rooms already featured rock music.
Outside the studio, his greatest passion is tennis, a game in which he finds “an amazing combination of instinct, calculation, tactics and mental resilience”.
If you want to learn more about his work, check out his website : http://www.hofesh.co.uk/
That’s what I call a great way of combining multiple interests. What do you think? Leave your comments below.