Just spent the past two weeks in Israel with Ben and family. My cousin, Vered Tom, with whom I co-translated Be My Knife and Someone To Run With, is back in Tel Aviv–juggling a bunch of balls (creating a show, some dramaturgy, lit management, research for a documentary TV station, pretty extensive editing for a book Shimon Peres is writing.)
Of course, given our great success seeing performance in Hong Kong, I asked her to find us some dance–it’s the home of Bat Sheva and an exciting little scene of small companies. But it was a bad week–the Suzanne Dallal Center, otherwise THE venue for dance, had a one-acts festival occupying the space, people (incl. Vered) are gearing up for the Israel Festival in Jerusalem.
So we went to Tmuna Theatre, a small complex that’s pretty much like HERE in New York–for some dance and video art. Which sucked.
What’s funny is that the way in which it sucked made it clear that shitty art that thinks itself “avant garde” is the same the world over–humorless artists in black pursuing meaningless and lame abstraction lacking any narrative or thematic purpose. The first piece? Generated with bad contact improv and unfiltered theater games, natch, with a touch of kink. 12 minutes of poorly post-produced video (hey, friend, a quick tip: if it’s shot horribly, no amount of Adobe Premiere will save it) of people submersing themselves in the sea at night.
Vered took me to see some bad community storytelling a couple of days later. Yawn.