Sheinfeld & Laor - "The Third Dance"

Sheinfeld & Laor - "The Third Dance"

Sheinfeld & Laor - "Two Room Apartment"

Sheinfeld & Laor - "Two Room Apartment"

Sheinfeld & Laor "Big Mouth"

Sheinfeld & Laor "Big Mouth"

Magazine - Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor

2 choreographers, 3 pieces, 4 questions

Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor

Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor were interviewed in the beginning of March. Due to the pandemic "The Third Dance" will not be presented at DANCE 21. Instead we will show you "Big Mouth" as a livestream and "Two Room Apartment" as a live lecture performance with the title "Two Room Apartment Story". 

 

You will present three pieces at the DANCE festival 2021:
Next to “Big Mouth”, which is introduced in the trailer, you will show “The Third Dance” and in public space “Two Room Apartment”.

1. Could you describe in one sentence each what the three pieces mean to you and what emotions they are connected to for you?

OREN LAOR
“Big Mouth” is about the conflict of the individual, that on one hand has a strong desire to belong and to conform, to be part of a bigger community, but on the other hand is yearning to break free from the crowd and find his own personal voice.
“Two Room Apartment” is a capsule of intimacy that we created for ourselves, with audience watching.
“The Third Dance” is a deepening of the bonding between us, after so many years together as a couple. It’s a bonding deepened by memories, hopes, fears and reconciliation.

NIV SHEINFELD 
“Big Mouth” – this work for me is a reflection on my life in the communist society in the Kibbutz.
“Two Room Apartment” – this work is our first duet and it has constantly been in our life in the past 9 years like a yoga routine that helps you reflect on how you are today. Taking it out to the public space is to me an expansion to the holiness of the theatre. We take this holiness out for the world to meet it.
“The Third Dance” is a renewal of vows in our partnership, and also about finding elements of diversity between us.
 

2. The trailer of “Big Mouth” ends with a scream. A scream for … freedom?

OREN LAOR
This image does appear in the middle of the show. Dancer Keren Levi stands in the center of the stage with her mouth wide open, while the theatre is filled with music that is the anthem of an Israeli military brigade. It is a gesture of an individual that feels helpless in a society that adores conformity and militarism, while she strives to find her own voice.

NIV SHEINFELD
The “scream” you refer to is a mouth wide open without a voice. It happens in the middle of the work just after the protagonist “fell out of the system". It is for me a representation of the private voice that is being washed off into bigger social/national issues..


3. You already showed “Two Room Apartment” with great success at DANCE 2015, now you will dance a pandemic-friendly version outdoors. What makes the difference?

OREN LAOR
When performed in the theatre, the strength of this show is that it creates a closed capsule in space and time for love and intimacy, with witnesses. When performing it outdoors, a fascinating dialogue is created between the private and the public. It makes the spectators aware not only of the “story” of the dancing couple, but also aware of buses and traffic nearby, pedestrians, buildings, and also the surprised look on faces of people who just happened to pass by. It’s blending together the mundane with the spiritual-emotional.
When performed in the theatre, the audience feel like they’ve been invited into our private living room. In the street, it feels like we invaded the public space with our intimacy. It’s quite a different reflection.

NIV SHEINFELD
Taking our art in full to the public space is the one good thing that COVID has brought. “Two Room Apartment” in the public space is a lighter variation of us. We are even more flirtatious, trying to lure people into our world - even if they are just passing by by chance. The isolated capsule of the black boxed theatre is nonexistent – the world becomes the scenery. We amplify our performative presence and being. We have much more stimuli to refer to. We chose to avoid the full nudity so it will be less intimidating. Our intimacy and our intrusion to the public space becomes a bigger issue.


4. In “The Third Dance”, are we going to see the further development of the couple relationship from “Two Room Apartment” a few years later?

OREN LAOR
Indeed. It’s a duet that we created 8 years after “Two Room Apartment”. Older, wiser, and more aware of age and of the fragility of life.

NIV SHEINFELD
“The Third Dance” is a development from our first duet “Two Room Apartment” in the personal aspect and also on stage in relation to the audience. Like before, we sit the audience around the stage - inviting people to be visible witnesses in sharing the space with us, but this time we leave the stage to bring props (such as flowers, record player) that add richness and color, and also become metaphors, pointing at more complex understandings. If “Two Room Apartment” dealt with pedestrian movement, borders and repetition of casual daily behavior, “The Third Dance” is expressing more abstract movement, and thoughts of love, of time, and of nostalgia.