Performing Arts Series: The Child Dreams #2 By Yossi Zwecker

Performing Arts Series: The Child Dreams #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 maleness 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.

This epic, mythic performance is based on a play written by Hanoch Levine, one of Israel’s greatest writers of theater. The show, which was directed by Omri Nitzan, composed by Gil Shohat, and performed by the Israeli Opera House, depicts a drifting, allegorical journey of refugees who are rejected from every shore, traveling in search of sanctuary. It is the only one of Levine’s plays that was adapted to the opera; a grand production, which took over a decade to write. Nitzan says of the play that it “is a metaphor for our time: the events of the past century, and the journey of life itself.”

In these two color photographs, Zwecker captures the “Levine-ian” essence of the production. The first photograph shows “the boy” jumping out of his white iron bed, hands spread upwards, a big smile on his face. Surrounding him are clowns with expressions of joy, wonder, and surprise; but the heavy makeup and colors smeared on the clowns’ faces, clearly depicted in the photograph, freeze the moment in the play in which joy transforms into nightmare. The second work brilliantly portrays the bewildering encounter between theatricality, plot and operatic design: the various characters, disconnected from one another and hanging in mid-air darkness, are lit by a blinding light that illuminates their moment of terror with a crystalline clarity.

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