Songs and Silences is the current performance originating from the creative genius of the critically acclaimed Israeli choreographer, musician and artistic director Amos Ben-Tal.
The performance is a spellbinding concept by OFFprojects, a collective founded by Amos consisting of former dancers from the NDT and Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company who construct interdisciplinary performances with an aim to inspire artistry across the world. The viewer is invited to become absorbed in a human experience not on their own, but of their own.
To set the scene. In a dimly lit room, a series of strangers must sit on identical black stools in preparation for a three-hour-long rendezvous through mind and matter, time and space. Every 15 minutes, the performance halts to allow viewers to either stay, leave or switch their position to another dreary, dull chair. The simplicity of the scene authorises the viewer to enter an ulterior world outside of themselves with no distractions bar intermittent Songs and Silences. However long or short you wish to stay is solely up to you.
Amos combines three primary forms of expression in Songs and Silences, namely; dance, music and text. The performance is not the usual evening-long dance show you might expect. Instead, it’s a series of short burst intervals executed by eight eloquently refined dancers as well as Amos himself, whose guitar skills perfectly tie together the performance. You will be mesmerised by the rigid movements of each dancer, the passion behind their eyes and Amos’ delicate plucking. He tugs on your heartstrings as he invites you to step into another soul’s tumultuous world. A selfless act in an attempt to better understand the peculiar ‘other.’
Despite the human condition existing as a universal claim, Jacques Derrida’s notion of différance is exposed in Songs and Silences in the way each person resonates with Amos’ performance through their own lone life experience, no matter how similar or different it may be. Songs and Silences is an immersive experience which induces a fit of inhalation through the Silences and exhalation through the Songs. Eva Lakeman
Songs and Silences will be touring The Netherlands well into the spring of 2024