07 August 2023
by Anat Zechariah
It is often taken for granted that words mirror reality, yet they merely truncate existence into verbal form; reality persists independently, untouched by the concepts that endeavor to define it. The mind, analytical in nature, constructs these concepts, and much of our existence unfolds within their confines; while sometimes beneficial, these conceptual labels can impede the raw experience of the reality of being present with what exists at the moment.
“How, then, can ‘it’ be articulated?”
Getman inquires, placing a body devoid of external connections into a black hole that delves into inner realms, collapsing within itself and exploring. The body is present, though it still needs to be fully unveiled. For a moment, it captivates the viewer’s gaze without delivering a precise response, an image that remains abstract, a stain of existence - and let there be skin, this marks the dawn of time. The darkness directs us towards the minutiae, the subtle movements, the intense, almost impossible tension coalescing into rigid unity inbound legs: rise, hip, palm. The body, a dwelling, a cell from which one strives to escape - intentionally stripped of its central attribute, to roll, to move. A pause exists to linger amid the paradox of discontinuity and continuity before yielding to the linear progression of time, to life’s unceasing movement. In “First Things,” the essence of the dancing body prevails; the movements spring forth from genuine inner exploration, challenging the constructs that emerge from the observing consciousness. Getman transcends these confines, renewing the notion of a unique language existing somewhere between gesture and thought. “It It It” - these words burst forth from the dancer Ariel Galbert during the act of reaching forward, locking the elbows.
These words do not impart explicit knowledge about the world but convey inquiry, doubt, and contemplation.
The next moment, the mouth opens, and the clenched hands stretch backward - does the image create a divide from the truth, or does it point to the truth that unfolds in the present moment? This corporeal, sculptural dance is fragmented, devoid of a complete, defined sequence, often existing at the threshold, holding a mental bubble. This disassembly and observation bring pleasure, creating a beauty that must also be disassembled and observed - a delicate dance between revelation and concealment. Curious syllables scatter, fragmented gestures scatter, and verbs get lodged in the throat. Once again, the words dissipate, pouring into the image; and again, Galbert gestures toward the hatches’ lines that transform into escape routes, a way to exit the words and enter the image. The image morphs into the word in more significant instances, becoming a tapestry of envisioned sight and motion - treetops, clouds, and fabric folds. It serves as a reminder that movement is not exclusive to humans but a cornerstone of all nature, perhaps the only means of touching humanity.
Sometimes, Getman restrains himself within knowledge, but on his part, this knowledge retreats repeatedly in favor of adventure and playfulness. Furthermore, the recent solo works “First Things” and “Am I,” performed by the talented soloist Talia Paz, exhibit a heightened intensity. They are decisive, free from unnecessary embellishments, and deserve acknowledgment as unique accomplishments. Their intricate self-adjustment is delicate and complex. Getman’s choreography seems wholly dedicated to the tension between overcoming and self-authorization: overcoming urges and yet surrendering to them, transcending the banality or over-intellectualization that “explains” dance, all while generously granting permission to be swept away by its enchantment, to experience its performance anew as a one-of-a-kind spectacle enthusiastically.
“First Things” is an exigent, hypnotic, mesmerizing work. It guides us, not towards a peak or finish line, but instead towards the notion of a beginning - courageously striving to convey something profound and succeeding. This achievement is, in no small part, thanks to Ariel Galbert’s performance, which possesses the quality of a ticking bomb, an element of imminent revelation.