Emotional, theatrical, expressive and subtle, Pseudonympha is a solo dance that explores how memories, wishes and fears predominate a woman’s life and take over her reality. An early dance work that was recently recreated and expanded.
Inbal Oshman’s dance pieces explore transitions between emotions, states of mind, and physical qualities.
PseudoNympha delves into the elusive transitions between now and then, sadness and exultation, hope and despair, assertiveness and vulnerability, sanity and insanity. Through body and movement, it delicately follows these transitions. The turning point from one state to the other is ungraspable and that is exactly what makes this dance piece so fascinating and stirring.
“Every mother knows this movement: holding a baby in your hands, close to your chest, rocking and jumping, humming and singing silently, waiting for the baby to finally fall asleep. Sometimes it's done gently with motherly care. Other times it’s done impatiently with a tired body. It's repetitive, it’s meditative, it’s amazing, it’s boring, it’s bonding, it’s exhausting. Of course, as a mother, I experienced it too. Holding my baby one night I ironically thought this is the only dance I have done recently. And then another thought answered: it is movement, it is dance. I suddenly started to move the same monotonous movement in a different kind of attention and awareness. I suddenly thought of it as dance. I imagined myself standing on a stage in front of an audience, performing it as a dance. This was the beginning of the creative process of PseudoNympha that starts with this motherly, intuitive, biological movement. It charged the whole dance piece with very personal emotion and enabled me to look into the gaps between a mother’s reality and her fantasies.”
Choreography Inbal Oshman | Dancer Ilana Bellahsen / Inbal Oshman | Dramaturgy Yannets Levi | Costume Hagar Ben Efraim Vaknin | Music Sari Gelin by Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova | Music editing Gilaad Vital | Light Design Judy Kuperman | Commissioned By TanzWoche Dresden | Supported By Tanzwoche Dresden, The Embassy of Israel in Berlin/Germany, Keren Reiss Dance Studio in Israel, The Israeli Choreographers Association. Duration: 17 min
INSPIRATIONS | PSEUDONYMPHA
In almost every culture Bridehood is a thing to aspire for. Women are destined to be brides. The wedding day is a fantasy coming to life - being a princess for one day, with a royal outfit. It’s a very specific and defined mold of womanhood. But there’s a gap between the desired ideal and reality, between the myth and its actuality.
PseudoNympha explores this gap. The outfit for the dance had to be deceiving as that gap - is it a nightgown or maybe a wedding gown? Is it a dried bouquet the dancer is holding or maybe it’s a newborn baby? Is the dancer happy or sad, exalted or depressed?
Photo: Menahem Kahana
A place that once used to be luxurious and host enjoyable events is now desolated, deserted, dirty and ruined. Memories, the present contaminated by the past, emptiness charged with emotions are all inherent to this photo and to PseudoNympha. The dance has no setting and can be performed in almost any space. The dancer and her movement define the place and make the audience see and imagine things that aren't really there.
Time and again, going to weddings, I noticed that there's a certain body language and even choreography that takes over the brides," says Inbal. "It's not only the bridal dress and the ceremony that define and give the bride a specific role and identity for one day, it's a whole system of manners and movement. The bodily behavior is transformed. I wanted to explore it and deconstruct it." Therefore, Duchamp's painting inspired the creative process of Pseodonympha. It is full of movement and it breaks down the image of a bride. It removes all the kitch and fake fairytale glamour that characterizes brides' movement and reveals some ironic new aesthetic to it. Though different in its style, this is what Pseodonympha tries to do.
MUSIC AND VOCABULARY
The dance was inspired by the traditional Azeri folk song Sari Gelin (“Yellow Bride”). It’s a very emotional song about lost love, full of longings and yearning. A song version of a Romeo and Juliet kind of story. It has many versions in a variety of languages and cultures in Caucasia, Iran, and Turkey, while its origins are arguable. In all languages, it is told by a man that yearns for a Yellow Bride he cannot have. Sometimes explicit and at other times vague, the reason why this unreachable Yellow Bride was taken aways changes from one version to another. But what is a yellow bride? Is it a blond young woman or maybe a bride who lost her luster and became yellow? In many of the relevant cultures, Yellow is related to a dead soul.