Monday, July 28, 2014

Questionnaire with participant Hillel Kogan (IL)

Have you been (when) to Budapest - Hungary with your pieces and artistic works earlier? 
No, never. It will be my first time in Hungary.

What do you know about Hungary and what kind of information do you have about our dance life? 
I know very little about modern Hungary. I know that Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, I know that there is a Gypsy minority in Hungary, and I know that it used to be a part of the communist satellite states of the Soviet Union.
I know that csárdás is a traditional Hungarian dance.

Could you share with us if you have any idols in theater/dance life? 
Merce Cunningahm
Ohad Naharin
Dominique Bagouet

What kind of piece will you bring to L1danceFest and does this piece mean any differences or similarities to your earlier works? Where did you perform it already? 
"We Love Arabs" is a political satirical dance-theater piece, which tells the story of a Jewish choreographer who works with an Arab dancer, and together they are trying to create a piece with a message of co-existence and of peace between Arabs and Jews.
The piece was performed in many occasions all around Israel, and in Italy, Czech Republic, Germany and U.S.A.

Do you have your artistic statement, could you share with us? 
There is no such thing as "abstract art". Every art piece is political, even if it doesn't intend to be.

Do you have any hobby besides working as a performer or creator? 
I am also making some music, writing songs and composing.

Can you write some details about your artistic life - which direction did you come from and which direction do you go right now? Tell us some important steps from your background! 
I was born in 1974. Along my dancing career in Batsheva Ensemble in Israel, the Swiss group Nomades, and the Gulbenkian Ballet in Portugal, I created for dance companies and festivals in Israel and abroad.
Besides dancing, collaborating and creating within the Israeli independent dance scene, I am currently also an assistant to the choreographer Ohad Naharin, and I work as Rehearsal Director at Batsheva Ensemble.

How did your summer time go? Did you get any new inspirations? Do you have a best experience during this summer? 
This summer in Israel is a mess. The conflict between Palestinians and Jews has reached new levels. Sadly, again, people on both sides, do not find the right way for peace and co-existence. It is depressing.

Does it mean any differences to play your pieces in different countries? If so, could you please tell us in what sense? 
Since my piece deals with the local issue, of the conflict between Arabs and Jews, it is very "hot subject" in Israel, and with Israeli audience I feel a very strong reaction. The audience outside of Israel is more distant, observing the piece with distance, but I think that they can also feel that it has to do with everybody's life in our world: we all deal with conflicts between nations and with issues of ethnic minorities. This piece is also about racism, and unfortunately, racism is quite a universal phenomenon.

What does it mean to you to be in the process and to show the work to the audience? What kind of feedback are you open for? 
I like to be on stage, I enjoy performing and I enjoy making people laugh and think. I am open to all kind of reactions from the audience. People are free to interpret my pieces as they wish, to hate it or to like it. It’s their own responsibility, what to do with it.

Do you read critics about your works? What kind of critic do you need? 
I read the critics. Fortunately I had very good critics for this piece that I will present in Budapest, and the piece was also awarded the best critics prize for 2013.

Do you criticize other’s works? Do you write about it? 
I criticize others a lot. But I don't write about it. 

Are you open for a round table discussion with the audience after a premier or after your show? 
Yes, with pleasure.

Here you find some words, could you put them in sentences which could be kind of ars poetic of yours! 

community is an enemy
exchange a hug, with quality
there is no sense in sharing organic food
religion is a popular performance
the nation is getting closer, in your face

Do you have any question? 
Where are we heading to?

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