Ship of Fools by Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor

It looks like they have decided not to be lightheaded, to stop being nice and fun, to present a work that thinks dance differently, that dreams dreams where there are nightmares too. The work is not afraid to speak of decrees and tidings, about destiny and time.  What is placed at the heart of "Ship of Fools" is much more than what you found at the center of Sheinfeld and Laor's previous work.  It is the will to be a human being participating in the world.  "Ship of Fools" is the name of the satirical poem by the German writer, Sebastian Brandt, published in 1494.  It was one of the most popular works of the Renaissance.  It is an allegory describing the weaknesses of human beings.  It tells of a ship laden with thousands of fools of different kinds which sails through the paradise of fools to the land of the fools. Three characters float on the stage: Sasha Engel who appears as though he is restraining himself from trembling or screaming, and all the while an unfelt, internal fluctuation is occurring before him, like an animal trapped by the spotlights. Uri Shafir, the youth who chooses to sing naïve words above the situations, or to extend two arms outwards and to wane each time anew with a heart touching sweetness. And Anat Gregorio who offers herself for contemplation, giving herself entirely to the looks of the observers, and that which is exposed to the eye only reveals the tip of the iceberg of what is inside her.

The world in "Ship of Fools" is a world of a group of people in constant friction, in familiar and foreign moments.  And this is the internal world of the dancers and the creative artists, where there is nostalgia and irony of equal measure.  All of them, the good who have become bad and the bad who have become good.  There are moments as sharp as a razor blade, which will not allow the observer to escape to all too easy comfortable fields, the moment at which the guitar turns into a weapon, the camera which became a tool for torture in a moment of euphoria, a pointed finger directed to the center of the forehead.

True, there is no subversive defiance of reality and not all the moments of humor are necessary, yet, nonetheless, "Ship of Fools" grants us blessed moments of self immersion and paves the way to contemplation of the here and now.  And it manages to hurt, because instead of focusing on evil it focuses on the random

by Anat Zecharia, Yediot Aharonot, 2011


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