A choreography by Tamir Ginz for Kamea Dance Company, inspired by the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) of Johann Sebastian Bach.
“Is humanity still aching, confused, lamenting and waiting for The Messiah? Are we prepared for The One?
An international ballet production, inspired by the creation of J. S. Bach, which is considered sacred for the Christian world.
“As an Israeli Jewish choreographer, son of Holocaust survivors, I aim to build a bridge through this choreography between nations and religions. In this new world, where everyone is Jesus and Jesus is one of us…. ”
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach
Choreography: Tamir Ginz
Idea: Wolfgang Kläsener
Conductor: Werner Ehrhardt
Costumes: Limor Hershko Dror
Set and stage: Adam Keller
Lighting Design and Sculptural Lighting: Yaron Abulafia
Dance: Kamea Dance Company / Management: Tamir Ginz / Be’er-Sheva
Choir: Kantorei Barmen-Gemarke / Conductor: Wolfgang Kläsener / Wuppertal
Orchestra: l’arte del mondo / Conductor: Werner Ehrhardt / Leverkusen
In cooperation with Bayer Kultur.
Premiere: March 2017
An extraordinary dance evening of the Kamea Dance Company with pictures that have deeply immersed themselves in the memory of the audience. Images, movements and moods that will likely again be present in one’s mind when Johann Sebastian Bach’s complete St. Matthew Passion will be listened to.
A successful performance and an exemplary interreligious, intercultural and interdisciplinary collaboration, which points out the message of the choreography. Namely, only when we approach each other peacefully and in mutual respect does mankind have a chance. (…)
The lighting also diversifies the white high-gloss dance floor, on which no more than a meter-long shroud is used as the only prop. The rest of the drama is impressively created by light and body, for instance when Jesus is crucified by floodlights, or when the dancers emphasize the text “In Jesus’ Arms of Salvation” with their arms spread apart at right angles.
by Monika Klein, RP Magazine, Leverkusen, April 1 2017
The St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach which narrates the sufferings of Christ as in the Gospel according to Matthew is widely known. A standard classical piece. A classic of sacred music. However: as stirring as it was presented tonight, it may have rarely been presented. And this mostly thanks to Ginz and his company. Ginz proved to be a master of his craft. A master of dramaturgy and of translating story and feeling into movement.
The maltreated, creeping Jesus on his way to the Golgotha and then his naked, dead body which is carried and shrouded on stage is shocking. The dancers were a slavering, trampling crowd, vociferously demanding the death of Christ. They were the despaired disciples lacking hope in the face of the imminent crucifixion of their friend. They collectively were Judas, wrestling and cursing himself after the betrayal. They were dancing crosses of bodies. But most of all, they were the carriers of a tremendous drama, which did not need to be completely explicable or compliant with the gospel, but was affecting through the aesthetics of the dance and the formidable physis of the dancers. Agonizing bodies, crooked bodies, gestures of imploration, of cursing, of mortal fear: Ginz wrapped everything connected with the notion of martyrdom into his choreography and created a topical bridge to his own origin as a Jewish person befriending a text of Ancient Christianity and making it universally valid. In the run-up to the performance, Ginz pointed out how important it was to him, as the son of a Nazi concentration camps survivor, to present such a piece in Germany in the current international situation, with the congenial support of the l’arte del mondo orchestra and the singers of the Barmen-Gemarke choir. This is part of the reason why this St Matthew Passion succeeded as powerfully, uniquely, outstandingly. It became an interpretation of a classical piece that nobody in the audience will ever hear again without remembering these dancers and their passion.
By Frank Weifen, Leverkusener Stadtanzeiger
Announced as a “breathtaking evening of dance”, the performance is quick to proove itself to be a total artwork. Everything fits perfectly, and the audience is enchained for an hour and a half.
Adam Keller does an impressive job with the stage design: after all, he needs to accommodate quite a number of people on a relatively small stage. (…) In the background, one can see the movement of the dancers as shadows on the white wall. This increases the drama exquisitely, as does the sensational lighting which Yaron Abulafia uses to tell a story of hs own, building suspense and images of quiet intensity. It is extraordinary how he can build effects with the few means given by the limited stagecraft, without falling into cheap showmanship. The costumes created by Limor Hershko-Dror are both elegant and sophisticated.
In the meantime, Ginz depicts the whole drama of events and feelings in dance. Free of ballet conventions, he shows the course of the story, persists here and there in individual dances, always demanding highest physical exertion from his dancers and in this manner conveying suspense, which is without difficulty and always in correspondence to the music for over an hour and a half.
After that, the audience in the almost sold-out house no longer bears to remain seated. A stormy, standing ovation follows for more than ten minutes as tribute to all parties involved. And after an exorbitantly successful performance you can also see contended and pleased faces on the stage.
Michael S. Zerban, O-Ton Culture Magazine
The dancers of the Kamea Dance Company from Israel provided impressively great entertainment. The lightshow had its contribution to this as well. (…) The 14 dancers retold the updated story (of the St Mathhew Passion) by means of contemporary dance. They adjurned to the future, the year 2727, exactly 1000 years after the premiere of the original piece. (…) The plot was re-interpreted highly emotionally with references to the present times. (…)
With long-lasting standing ovations, respect has been paid for a hopefully recurring co-operation: A Jewish artist respectfully engages with Christian traditions, mudleing them up without doing them damage. “Acceptance” and “tolerance” were key words tonight. For without them, two cultures could not have been as harmonious as they were on this evening.
Hartmut Sassenhausen, Wuppertaler Zeitung, 2.04.2017