Uncaged Season Opens with “BodyLand” by Israeli Choreographers Yossi Berg and Oded Graf

WHITE BIRD UNCAGED LAUNCHES ITS 15TH SEASON WITH THE U. S. PREMIERE OF
YOSSI BERG AND ODED GRAF’S EXHALARATING BODYLAND

THE TWO AWARD-WINNING ISRAELI CHOREOGRAPHERS INVITE THE AUDIENCE ON A PHYSICAL, POETIC AND HUMOROUS JOURNEY THROUGH THE HUMAN BODY, PERFORMED BY FIVE GIFTED MALE DANCERS FROM GERMANY, FRANCE, DENMARK AND ISRAEL.
When: Thursday – Saturday, December 11 – 13, 2014, 8:00 pm
Where: Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, College of the Arts
Tickets: Starting at $25, available at whitebird.org. NO added fees.
1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
Discounts available for groups/students and seniors.
Supported by: Oregon Israel Business Alliance
Media Sponsor: Willamette Week
Info: www.whitebird.org

“An explosive dance performance with great sensuality and talent”
Magasinet KBH (Copenhagen)

White Bird is proud to launch the 2014-15 Uncaged Series, now celebrating 15 years, with the U.S. Premiere of Bodyland, created by acclaimed Israeli choreographers Yossi Berg and Oded Graf. The work will be performed for three nights December 11 – 13, 2014 at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall. Berg and Graf have been collaborating since 2005 and have earned a strong reputation for creating dance that is physically powerful and thought-provoking. Following their critically lauded White Bird Uncaged debut in 2011 with 4Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer, Yossi Berg and Oded Graf return to Portland with their exhilarating new work Bodyland featuring five male dancers from 4 different countries—Israel, France, Germany and Denmark– who invite the audience to explore a physical, poetic and humorous journey into the body and the socially constructed preconceptions that affect our every-day thoughts and actions. This highly theatrical work is a tumultuous, invigorating fusion of dance, speech, music and playful visuals that dive deep into the one unavoidable fact of human existence: the human body.

“The body is nature… Where did we come from and how much did we get away from it?” –
Yossi Berg and Oded Graf

Berg and Graf created Bodyland with the idea that the brain and body are separating further and further apart as time goes on. Humans are losing their personal voice and turning more toward a technological impersonal standard that is defining today’s cultural norm. With humor, music, speech and strong visuals, BodyLand challenges the audience to open up their brain and let their body out. This illuminating work brings a refreshing expression to the reality that our bodies consistently communicate with our brains, yet we sometimes block any communication due to cultural pressures and preconceptions. In this 60- minute performance, the dancers address this sensitive and controversial issue with wit and ingenuity.

The five men begin by introducing themselves according to the country in which they are from: Yossi and Oded from Israel, Pierre Enaux from France, Soren Linding Urup from Denmark, and Robin Rohrmann from Germany. Each member maps out the body and individually expresses how “different experience is printed in one’s body…how often the culture, country and society shapes the way the body looks, behaves and acts” The dancers transition to a gym class, jumping rope in a mesmerizing synchronized rhythm. Visual cues and giant inflated arms and legs propel the stream of thought to a new level, adding beauty to the chaos. With spoken text accenting the compelling movement, Bodyland asks questions about body image, investigates and probes feelings.

Recognized for their refreshing brand of artistry, Yossi Berg and Oded Graf have stood at the forefront of Israel’s active dance scene since their first collaboration in 2005. The company performs regularly at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Centre as well as in their second home base of Denmark. They have also toured their works to esteemed dance festivals such as Montpellier Danse in France, and the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina. Berg and Graf have been invited as guest choreographers all across the globe to stage and create new works.

Yossi Berg has worked with DV8 Physical Theatre in London, Batsheva Dance Company (where he worked with choreographers such as Ohad Naharin, Jiří Kylián, Angelin Preljocaj, John Jasperse, and Iztok Kovac over a six-year period), Yasmeen Godder’s company, and others. Starting in 1997, his works were commissioned for the Curtain Up/International Exposure festivals at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv and by various theaters throughout Israel and Europe. He was honored with Israel’s Ministry of Culture Award for Outstanding Choreographer in 2001, 2004, and 2006, and he received the ministry’s prize for Best Solo Artist Performer in 2003.

Oded Graf has worked with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Noa Dar Dance Company, and different independent Israeli and international productions. He started his choreographic career while moving between Denmark and Israel, and his dances were commissioned by the Israel Festival in Jerusalem, the Lab Theater, Curtain Up/International Exposure festivals, Tmuna Theater, and many other venues throughout Israel. He is studying for a B.A degree in communication at the Open University.

White Bird’s performance of BodyLand is supported by the Oregon Israel Business Alliance and the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest in San Francisco. White Bird Uncaged 2014-15 is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
White Bird’s 2014-15 season is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Work for Art, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Fred Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, The Jaffe Foundation, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), The Autzen Foundation, Trust Management Services and The Boeing Company.

Uncaged Season Opens with “BodyLand” by Israeli Choreographers Yossi Berg and Oded Graf