The Arty Semite

Manipulating Shostakovich

By Gwen Orel

Courtesy Dmitry Krimov

A wall comes to life. Arms appear in what had seemed like empty black suits hanging on them. The seven actors in the company, in evening dress, whom we’ve seen singing, playing with pieces of paper, join hands with the arms. Together the actors and the limbs on the wall do a kind of Hora. Later, a 17-foot high puppet of a babushka embraces, and menaces, a little clown. The clown is composer Dmitry Shostakovich. It’s like something from Dr. Seuss. It’s like a dream.

Though there are words in Dmitry Krymov’s “Opus No. 7,” both in the first part, titled “Genealogy,” and in the second act titled “Shostakovich,” much of the work’s punch lands through other kinds of theatrical language. Even the title evokes a piece of classical music, and the abstraction of painting.

The number 7 also refers to the seven members of the cast: Maxim Maminov, Mikhail Umanets, Sergey Melkonyan, Arkady Krichenko, Natalia Gorchakova, Maria Gulik and Varvara Voetskova. Krymov said in an email that it is also his favorite number. It is also Krymov’s seventh work. Another notable 7 is that Shostakovich’s seventh symphony was about war, Krymove pointed out.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Shostakovich, Dmitry Krymov, Charlie Chaplin

Mikhail Baryshnikov in Tel Aviv

By Michael Handelzalts

Crossposted from Haaretz

There are two excuses to see the play “In Paris,” which is playing this week at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center as part of a world tour. The first is a lovely story by Ivan Bunin about a missed opportunity. A “white” general who is living out his disappointment with life in Paris while writing the history of his wars meets a young Russian waitress, a fellow-emigre, experiences a late-in-life love affair, and dies a mundane death. A subject for a short story, as Trigorin noted to himself in Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull.”

Alon Ron
Mikhail Baryshnikov taking photos.

The second is Mikhail Baryshnikov, a great dancer and charismatic man, who at this stage in his career and his life, when he has danced it all and won all due praise, can do anything.

For both of these excuses the play has a single justification: the creative imagination of Dmitry Krymov. His theater opens on an exposed stage, revealing all the tricks of the trade. By means of large cardboard cutouts on which sophisticated and precise projections are displayed, a revolving stage, and a group of five actors — singers and one Baryshnikov, aided by music, movement, and lighting, he creates a world full of imagination, in which even the translated subtitles constitute an aesthetic element.

Read more at Haaretz.com

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Theater, Michael Handelzalts, In Paris, Haaretz, Dmitry Krymov




Find us on Facebook!
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.