STABAT MATER

(2016)

M

M Stabat Mater is a sensual, powerful, feminine piece that explores universal aspects of motherhood. A thrilling amalgam of ancient music and contemporary movement characterizing motherhood as well as its very  vulnerability and tenderness.                                    

" Idiosyncratic but very sensual... connects the four impressive women with the music. Unforgettable."   Saechsische Zeitung 

" Dramatic. Striking."  Robert Johnson, NJARTS.

" Homage to Motherhood."  The New York Times

" Weighty, sweaty frankness... ritualistic but also makes room for some irreverence."  The New Yorker 

“ impeccable musicianship […] studded with stars in the making.” — The New York Times

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Giving birth and motherhood are universal and private at the same time.

For me, giving birth was the utmost experience of shedding off the culture.

It allowed me to be the animal I am.

The co-existence of power and lack of control was amazingly sharp.

The transition between painful labor and holding a tender baby could not be more extreme.

Giving birth was the seed that made me create M Stabat Mater. 

Inbal Oshman

Inbal Oshman during her residency with Attakkalari dance company in Bangalore, India. During this residency, the dance piece's first version was created with the company's four senior dancers. 

Dancers Anindita Ghosh, Diya Naidu, Hemabharathy Palani, Sitara Thara, Ilana Bellhasen, Shani Ben Haim, Or Hakim, Bosmat Nossan, Almog Kidron, Roni Hadash, Luciane Castro Fontanella, Irit Brunner, Adi Peled, Ayelet Nadav, Inbal Oshman   |   Dramaturge Yannets Levi  |   Lighting Design Amir Castro, Uri Rubinstein   |   Costume Design Inbal Ben Zaken  |   Photography Uri Rubinstein  |   Video Sagie Baron | Producer Tamar Bar Niv. Performed in Israel with the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra  |   Conductor David Shemer  |   Soloists Daniela Skorka, Alon Harari  |   Performed in Switzerland with Geneva Camerata  |   Conductor David Greilsammer  |   Soloists Francesca Aspromonte, Adriana di Paola, Capucine Keller, Mélodie Ruvio. In the USA in collaboration with New York Baroque Incorporated  |   Artistic Director Wen Yang  |   Soloists Sherezade Panthaki, Christopher Ainslie. M was partly created in Facets residency program, Attakkalari, Bangalore, 2013

INSPIRATIONS | M STABAT MATTER

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Kali, the black Hindu goddess, was the starting point of M Stabat Mater. Though she wins over all the evil demons, she is still full of destructive fury and even steps over her spouse God Shiva. In order to stop her from destroying the world, Shiva turns himself into a baby and crawls at her feet. The baby evokes motherly emotions in the raging goddess and she picks him up and starts to nurse him. Shiva sucks the milk and some toxic rage out of her and then they dance the Tandava, the dance that tramples ignorance. Red paint is very central in Hindu religion in general and Kali’s worship in particular. The worshippers mark their third eye with a red dot. 

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The holy mother of Christ's

iconography inspired the

choreographic vocabulary of

M Stabat Mater.

The dancers recreate

on stage iconic scenes

by Caravaggio, Botticelli

Picasso and other masters.

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The body of Jesus, who descended from the cross, comes to life on stage and the dancer tries to elusively avoid the many-times-told fate. 

MUSIC & TEXT 

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“Stabat Mater Dolorosa,” or “A Mournful Mother Stood Weeping”:

In this 800-year-old hymn one of the cornerstones of Catholicism is forcefully manifested—the worship of the Holy Virgin, Mother of Christ.

It is, however, possible that this very form of worship has its roots in something even more profound, more universal than any specific theology.

Its object is the most substantial figure in the life of every human being—indeed, of every live creature: the figure of the mother. Perhaps the hymn derived its extraordinary emotional power precisely from this archetypal universality, and this is what has made it so popular with composers throughout centuries, providing them with inspiration for some of the most moving and expressive musical works ever written.

“Is there one who would not weep, whelmed in miseries so deep,

Christ’s dear Mother to behold?” asks the hymn’s anonymous writer.

Indeed, can one imagine sorrow more excruciating than that of a mother bemoaning the death of her son?

Our profound identification with the emotional utterance of the Stabat Mater is not necessarily of a religious nature.

The hymn’s words touch upon an extremely personal part of everyone’s soul.

They resonate in our hearts as if written especially for us. From this universal point of view, the choreographer approaches the essence of the hymn, creating the dance M Stabat Mater.

This is the innermost point at which the Middle Age hymn conjoins Baroque music and contemporary dance, in a common and universal statement, as true and as relevant now as ever. —

 

Professor David Shemer

At the Cross her station keeping,

stood the mournful Mother weeping,

close to her Son to the last.

 

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,

all His bitter anguish bearing,

now at length the sword has passed.

 

O how sad and sore distressed

was that Mother, highly blest,

of the sole-begotten One.

 

Christ above in torment hangs,

she beneath beholds the pangs

of her dying glorious Son.

 

Is there one who would not weep,

whelmed in miseries so deep,

Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain

from partaking in her pain,

in that Mother's pain untold?

 

For the sins of His own nation,

She saw Jesus wracked with torment,

All with scourges rent:

 

She beheld her tender Child,

Saw Him hang in desolation,

Till His spirit forth He sent.

 

O thou Mother! fount of love!

Touch my spirit from above,

make my heart with thine accord:

 

Make me feel as thou hast felt;

make my soul to glow and melt

with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,

in my heart each wound renew

of my Savior crucified:

 

Let me share with thee His pain,

who for all my sins was slain,

who for me in torments died.

 

Let me mingle tears with thee,

mourning Him who mourned for me,

all the days that I may live:

 

By the Cross with thee to stay,

there with thee to weep and pray,

is all I ask of thee to give.

 

Virgin of all virgins blest!,

Listen to my fond request:

let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,

in my body bear the death

of that dying Son of thine.

 

Wounded with His every wound,

steep my soul till it hath swooned,

in His very Blood away;

 

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,

lest in flames I burn and die,

in His awful Judgment Day.

 

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,

be Thy Mother my defense,

be Thy Cross my victory;

 

While my body here decays,

may my soul Thy goodness praise,

Safe in Paradise with Thee.

תרגום לעברית: (תרגם: עדו אברביה)

 

אם מוכת יגון עומדת, מול הצלב בוכה, רועדת, שם תלוי ישוע בנה.

את לבה המתיפח להב הכאב פולח, מה נורא הוא יגונה.

מה נוגה היא, מה סובלת הקדושה, האם לילד האחד ואין אחר,

הכואבת, הדואבת, הרועדת למראהו של הבן המתיסר.

מי האיש עיניו יבשו כי יראה אמו של ישו נמקה ביגונה?

מי ימנע קולו מבכי, עת יזכר את הצדקת החוזה בצער בנה?

על חטאי עמו כפר הוא, ראו איככה מתיסר הוא, בשוטים ילקו אותו.

ראו הבן החף מפשע, הגווע, חסר-ישע, המוציא את נשמתו.

אם האהבה, הרשיני כאבך לשאת, למדיני כאן אתך להתאבל.

נא עזרי לי, שאצליח לאהב את המשיח, ואזכה בחסד אל.

אם קדושה במרום רקיע, את פצעיו של המושיע לו חרת בתוך לבי,

לו אוכל לחלק בסבל שבעבורי סבל הוא, שכפר על עווני.

לו נתן לי באמת לבכות את בנך המת, כל עוד בחיים אני.

מול הצלב כאן לעמד ויחדיו אתך לספד, זה יהיה כל רצוני.

בתולה קדושה, אם חסד, אנא אל תהיי כועסת, כי אבכה עמך יחדיו.

כך אשא זכרו של ישו, את מותו, את יסוריו, בלבי אחקק פצעיו.

בכל מכאוביו פצעיני, בשכרון הצלב מלאיני, באהבתי אליו.

כי תבער בי אש-אלה, את מחסה לי מגבה בהגיע יום הדין.

לו הצלב רק ישמרני, מות ישוע יזכני בחסדו ממרומים.

ובכלות גופי למות, נשמתי תזכה לשבת בגן עדן לעולמים.

– Translation by Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica (1849)

Pergolesi - Jerusalem Baroque OrchestraStabat Mater
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