AT

DUSK.

SHOSTAKOVICH

(2021)

In a world of ropes and restrictions, four powerful women move between freedom and bondage. Sometimes they rebel, other times they collaborate, but always on the move, searching for that elusive feeling of liberty.

Emotional, evocative, deep and even groovy Shostakovich at Dusk gives an unforgettable, eye-opening and stirring choreographic interpretation to each note, sound and rhythm of these roller coaster string quartets. 

"As an artist I wished to explore in Shostakovich at Dusk what limits our freedom; what damages our freedom to speak, to express, to be and to change. The answers might be social, political, psychological or spiritual. 

The creative process took place during Covid-19 when our lives were restricted in so many ways. During that time I witnessed how governments used this period to weaken and take away basic human rights. In my country, where the foundations of democracy have been eroding for the past few years, the covid 19 crisis solidified how fragile society is and how easily incitement, violence, and suspicion spreads.

I could see how leaders can use and abuse serious historical situations in order to reinforce their regime and cast their authority to serve their own personal interests. Dance and reality mixed up together when working in the studio and made me even more determined  to complete the creative process in spite of frequent lockdowns and stoppage of all performing arts. 

Art for me is all about freedom, even in situations in which freedom is restricted, therefore Shostakovich at Dusk is a very personal piece." 

 

Inbal Oshman

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Parts of Shostakovich at Dusk were performed at the 2021 demonstrations  in Israel, against the corruption of Netanyahu's regime

Choreography Inbal Oshman  |   Music Dmitri Shostakovich, Quartets 8 & 10. Performed by Carmel Quartet  |   Dancers Ilana Bellhasen, Neta Henik, Lior Lazarof, Kornelia Lech  |   Musicians Rachel Ringelstein, Tali Goldberg, Tami Waterman, Shuli Waterman  |   Dramaturge Yannets Levi  |   Stage Design Zohar Shoef  |   Lighting Design Uri Rubinstein  |   Costume Design Inbal Oshman  |   Rehearsal Directors Dalia Chaimsky, Shani Bar Dimri  |   Producer Tamar Bar Niv Shibari  |   Technical consultant Avishag Gaya  | Cinematographer Roee Shalti,  Aviad Fuchs  |   Editor Roee Shalti  |   Supported by the Fund for Independent Artists, Ministry of Culture, Israel. Duration: 45 min

INSPIRATIONS | SHOSTAKOVICH at DUSK

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In this african war dance the warriors dance together in one cluster as if glued to each other. The group dance gives them power, enthusiasm, and courage before they set off to the battlefield. It makes them look like one big lethal monster. 

The tied-up group that on the one hand wishes to act as one body and on the other hand wants to separate and be loosed was very significant in creating Shostakovich at Dusk. 

Our reference group has an essential role in the way we regard restriction of our freedom. Are we compelled to be tied-up and restricted or maybe we actually wish to be bound? Freedom is something we wish for and are frightened of at the same time.

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Bas Relief, Kiev, Ukraine. sculptor: Valentin Borisenko

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Soviet bas-relieves gave the dance piece its core and primal choreographic vocabulary. What would happen if these laborers or soldiers could come to life and start moving? Will they keep on working and acting together as one monolithic unit? Will any hidden personal desires, emotions and interests let such a unit keep proceeding ad infinitum? And what will such a dance look like? What’s the gap between the facade and the inner happenings? All these questions arising from such relieves were stimulating and inspiring in creating Shostakovich at Dusk. 

Kinbaku-bi (“the beauty of tight binding”), or Shibari (“Binding”) as it is known in the west, is the Japanese art of tying up. Creating a dance piece in which ropes are intensively used inspired a broad research that led to this ancient Japanese image of tied up prisoners. Originated from methods of restraining prisoners, Kinbaku became a practice of art as well as BDSM. Kinbaku gave us the technical knowledge of binding and tying in safe, aesthetic and evocative ways, but it also enabled us to go beyond the physical binding and discover the hidden or unseen ropes that restrain us in our lives. 

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Shostakovich at Dusk is inspired also by the life of the genius Russian composer, who was praised and prosecuted, lauded and intimidated by Stalin’s regime. All through his life, even when he was a member of the governmental system, he lived under constant threat. Threat and intimidation are sometimes explicit and other times implicit and even transparent. They often infiltrate into society in seemingly spontaneous ways. Authority has a tremendous impact on our lives, on the extent of our creativity and imagination and of course on our freedom. I wished to explore the way authority and power influence my artistic freedom and I kept going back to Shostakovich’s beguiling life story as a reference to my dance.

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Dmitri Shostakovich