HOMELESS

LULLABY

(2016)

It’s night time. The bed is ready. The body wishes to sleep, but the mind is still awake. It yearns for a soothing voice. It needs a caressing lullaby, but the most intimate private moments are torn away from their privacy and are set out in the open, in public. 

Three dancers carry three beds in the streets, following a singer who sings traditional lullabies from around the world. The parade stops each time in a different location and the singer sings a lullaby to the dancers who dance with the beds. Homeless lullaby explores the dark sides of lullabies and the collision between intimacy and intimidation.

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"My maternal grandfather was a child in Poland during the holocaust. His mother was killed at a very early stage. Because of the trauma and his very young age at the time, he couldn’t remember her face. There were no photos left that might have evoked his memory; no visual memory in his mind; no relatives left that might have filled up the missing experience with stories about his mother. The only memory left in my grandfather’s mind and heart was a lullaby his mother used to sing for him - Był sobie król. This lullaby was never forgotten. My grandfather used to sing it to his daughter, my mother, when she was a child. And my mother used to sing it to me and my brother and sister when we were kids. Grandpa used to sing it to us in Polish and my mother used to sing it to us in Hebrew, as the song was translated by Polish immigrants after the war was over. This experience was the starting point for Homeless Lullabies."

Inbal Oshman

Concept & choreography Inbal Oshman  |   Dancers Yael Sofer, Aya Degani,Inbal Oshman  |   Singer Ilana Eliya Set and Light Ofer Laufer  |   Dramaturgy Yannets Levi Sound Doron Butnik  |   Costume Hagar Ben Efraim Vaknin  |   International  |   Communications & Development Katherina Vasiliadis  |   Supported By Bat Yam Street Theater Festival, Fest’Factory artist Residency in Bat Yam, and The Israeli Lottery Foundation (Pais). Duration: 20 min

INSPIRATIONS | HOMELESS LULLABY

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In Judaism there’s a saying: “Sleep is one-sixtieth part of death.” Darkness and its insecurities, the loss of sight and nocturnal preying animals evoke primeval fears in our hearts. And indeed man seems to be the only living being who has difficulties falling asleep. Maybe it is because of the loss of control, loss of identity and self, the letting go and the entering into the subconscious world of dreams. 

This Frida Kahlo painting, The Dream (The Bed), was kept in mind when creating Homeless Lullaby. Lullabies exist in the liminal time between awakeness and sleep, during moments of letting go. They are sung in order to soothe, to quiet, to destruct the child from his or her fears, but usually underneath they also express the parent’s anxieties. They are needed because in many ways sleep is one-sixtieth part of death. 

Kibbutz common sleep: Kibbutz was a modern system of villages that was very common in the early years of the state of Israel. In these villages people lived according to communist ideas, sharing all their property equally and trying to bring up all children in the exact common “industrial” way. Therefore Kids born in the Kibbutz used to sleep together in communal rooms, without their parents. Unprofessional nannies, who were just Kibbutz members, used to take care of the kids at night. Dozens of thousands of kids were deprived of their “biological right” to sleep near their parents and to be taken care of by their family. The trauma marked their souls. After many years this practice was cancelled, but of course even nowadays many kids around the world don’t listen to a human loving voice singing lullabies for them. Some live in warzones or maybe are orphans, but many more are daily babysat by tablets and smartphones at the last moments of their wakefulness. Homeless Lullabies saves lullabies from oblivion and provides them with a new home.

Homeless Lullaby SoundtrackDoron Butnik - Singer : Ilana Eliya
00:00 / 17:55

On the road stands a tree/Yiddish

 

On the road stands a tree,

it stands bent and deserted,

All the birds of that tree

have flown away.

 

Turn toward the west, turn toward the east,

And the rest - turn toward the south,

And the tree is left alone

abandoned to the storm.

 

I say to momma--"Listen,

If you don't stand in my way,

then, one and two,

I'll quickly become a bird...

 

I'll sit in the tree

And lull it

during the winter and comfort it

With a lovely tune.

 

And momma says, "No, child,"

And weeps bitter tears -

G-d forbid, in the tree

you might freeze.

 

So I say, "Momma, it's a waste

of your lovely eyes,

Because before you know it,

I'll be a bird."

 

And momma cries: - Itzik, my Crown,

As G-d would want,

take a scarf with you,

Lest you catch cold.

 

"Put on your galoshes,

It will be a severe winter.

And take your fur hat, too.

Woe is me!

 

"And take your warm underwear,

put it on, foolish child,

Lest you become a guest

among the dead...

 

I lift my wing, but it's hard...

Too much, too many things

Has momma put on

her weak little fledgling.

 

I look sadly straight forward

into my momma's eyes,

Her love did not allow me

to become a bird...

 

On the road stands a tree,

it stands bent and deserted,

All the birds of that tree

have flown away.

Lullaby, lullaby/Ladino (Judeo-Spanish)

 

Lullaby, lullaby

The boy wants a lullaby,

The mother's son,

Who although small will grow.

 

Oh, go to sleep my dearest,

Your father is coming home,

Full of so much joy.

 

Lullaby, lullaby

The boy wants a lullaby,

The mother's son,

Who although small will grow.

 

Oh, oh my lady open,

Open the door,

I come home tired,

From plowing the fields.

 

Oh, I won't open them,

You don't come home tired,

You've just come back,

From seeing your new lover.

 

Lullaby, lullaby

The boy wants a lullaby,

The mother's son,

Who although small will grow.

 

She's not as beauty as I,

Nor is she worthy of me,

She doesn't wear,

As much jewelry as I do.

 

Lullaby, lullaby

The boy wants a lullaby,

The mother's son,

Who although small will grow.

Negev Desert Lullaby/Hebrew

 

"Winds upon our roof are blowing

And no star will even peep"

"Papa in the fields is plowing

Sleep, my boy, sleep."

 

"Why's he plowing after nightfall

And won't come to put me to sleep?"

"Our land will make every man crawl

Sleep, my boy, sleep."

 

"Something's lurking in the darkness

And the jackals are ready to leap

Why does Papa plow in blackness?"

"Sleep, my boy, sleep."

 

"If he hasn't had his work done,

Why a pistol - will he always keep?"

"To plow one always need a big gun

Sleep, my boy, sleep."

 

"Blackness, blackness all around us

And the candle its own light sips”

“Darkness won't ever scare us

Sleep, my boy, sleep.”

 

“What's that noise I'm hearing right now

And that blast, so loud and deep?”

“That's the tractor dragging the old plow

Sleep, my boy, sleep.”

Jabalio/ Kurdish

 

Sleep, mountain boy, sleep

Don’t cry, don’t you cry,

Your mother will be your atonement

 

In a wooden cradle I’m rocking you

So many hours I’m trying to calm you down

Oh, may the lost wanderer in the forest will be back 

home safe and sound

 

In a wooden cradle I’m rocking you

So many hours I’m trying to dry your tears

If you don’t calm down, I’ll hand you over to grandma

Maybe she can quiet your crying

 

Sleep, mountain boy, sleep

Don’t cry, don’t you cry,

Your mother will be your atonement

May the lost lover in the forest

will return home sound and safe.