Performing Arts Series: The Man of the Hour #2 By Yossi Zwecker

Performing Arts Series: The Man of the Hour #2 By Yossi Zwecker

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Performed by eight male dancers and two female opera singers, this performance, choreographed by Itzik Galili, is a commentary on Israeli masculinity and its search for a way to forge a personal identity within the national one. These photographs capture the dancers’ virtuoso performance and their fatigue, transforming their movements into a perpetual moment trapped in time; a vague, green-gray zone blurred by exhaustion and effort, bodies hovering in space.

A coproduction of the Israeli Opera and Suzanne Dellal Center of Dance, choreographer Itzik Galili presents on the stage his vision of contemporary, hectic Israeli society, in which the individuals who make up society are caught up in an agonizing search for the glory of the moment; searching for a way to forge a personal identity within the national one. Performed by eight male dancers and two female opera singers, the work is also a commentary on the aggressive dynamics of Israeli masculinity. Technically, the performance is extremely demanding, bringing the dancers to the brink of exhaustion. "I am very drawn to that place of release that comes from fatigue,” says Galili about this work. "I want this work to be exhausting for them and for the audience, to push it to the absolute limit. Only then does another quality emerge, and that quality greatly intrigues to me.”

Zwecker’s photographs of the production capture the dancers' virtuoso performance and their fatigue, transforming their movements into a perpetual moment trapped in time; a vague, green-gray space which is blurred by exhaustion and effort, bodies hovering in space. The photos almost seem to take apart the dancers’ bodies and reconstruct them, reflecting the essence of the work itself, which portrays a detachment from the experience of the multitude into a personal, intimate space.

The Performing Arts Series
Zwecker conceives of the work of the photographer with on-stage productions as a unique challenge, different from all other forms of the art. “Photography of the performing arts are a world away from news photography,” claims Zwecker. “It is emotionally draining because you have no idea what will happen next. The light dims; you are in the dark. It is impossible to check on the camera’s functions while photographing. These are the most difficult conditions for a photographer: the lighting shifts in seconds, the exposure changes, the setup moves in an instant and you have to respond in real-time, capturing the moment. If you want to reliably produce good photos, you need a deep understanding of your tool and be able to fully control it; and you need to understand the music that you are capturing.”

Yossi Zwecker

Born in Israel in 1965, Yossi Zwecker began his career as a news photographer before specializing in photography of the performing arts. He collaborates extensively with leading Israeli theater companies, dance troupes, and music venues, and currently serves as the house photographer for the Israel Opera House, Tel Aviv Center for Performing Arts, and the Israeli Ballet.
Read more about Yossi here