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  • Fiona Prior

Horses in the Sky ‒ Kibbutz Dance Company ‒ World Premiere

Horses in the Sky

Choreography, Stage Design & Lighting: Rami Be'er Music: S. Endresen, C. Wallumrod, H. Stern, Bjork, Fuck Buttons, Krieg und Frieden, A. Desplat, Olafur, Faultline, Eleni, J. Carpenters, Murkof, Alejandro Therasi, A Silver, Mt. Zion Sound Editing: Rami Be’er Costume Design: Rami Be’er Dancers: Ben Bach, David Ben Shimon, Roni Ben Simon, Léa Bessoudo, Anastasia Cheshun, Shani Cohen, Niv Elbaz, Nadav Gal, Martin Harriague, SuJeong Kim, Ilya Nikurov, Hagar Shachal, Jin Hwan Seok, Olga Stetsyuk, Sedrig Verwoert, Megan Doheny

The name of the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s latest work Horses in the Sky is evocative of so much that is terrible but also beautiful. Immediately, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse spring to mind, but also all those galloping white stallions glimpsed in the cloud gazing/wishful thinking of our youth and/or also the God-mobiles of childhood religious books, where God wore his robes (like his beard), long and white and seemed to live in a Heaven with a definite Grecian vibe; complete with highly ornate horse drawn chariots gliding through Cumulous clouds.

This is the kind of free association Artistic Director Rami Be’er wants to be playing in our minds as we experience his latest work Horses in the Sky, and I was lucky enough to catch both his pre-show talk and performance at Sydney Opera House. At the pre-show event, Be’er invited the audience to use our own personal experience to make sense of the beauty on stage, to work with the reflections he would present, participate in the work on any of its many levels

An eclectic and compelling choice of 19 music tracks back the performers, from Bjork to Elvis Presley, Ólafur Arnalds to Bluegrass ‒ along with poetry and sounds; all seamlessly edited to accompany Horses in the Sky. The Kibbutz’ dancers appear to have the ability to inhabit a mood, a sound, a scratch, a phrase or a word. I found myself completely immersed in my own interpretations of Be’er’s non-narrative journeys and am still not sure where my memory and associations left off and Be’er’s stagecraft took over.

Mind you, the name of the work Horses in the Sky is taken from lyrics by A Silver Mt. Zion and are completely evocative:

Oh my broken lamb

I worry when you cry

Baby’s gonna fetch ya

Horses in the sky

Though dead hands ring the garden

And these are violent times

And violence brings more violence

And liars bring more lies

What terrible beauty is conjured by those words. I feel my own interpretation possibly filled the spaces of this rapturous piece rather than co-authored the work. An extraordinary group of lyricists, musicians, choreographers and dancers had definitely done all the hard yards of my journey.

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company is on its way to perform If At All in Gera, Germany.

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