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Hofesh Shechter Company

Hofesh Shechter

Political Mother

1. 2. 3 Nov. 2012
Théâtre Maisonneuve

“This is one angry piece, delivered like a roar of defiance in the face of an omnipotent, malevolent force. It’s visceral, painful and very, very exciting.” (The Times, London, UK)
After making a big splash at Danse Danse in 2009, the Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter is back with Political Mother, an incredibly effective work. Praised in more than 20 European cities, Political Mother features 10 dancers and 7 musicians, all of whom are totally committed to the piece. More furiously explosive than ever, Shechter – a percussionist by training – serves up an assault of white noise, a hard-driving score and choreography that combines splendid ensemble movement with provocation and tremendous energy. Full-blown dance that provides all sorts of pleasure.

“The choreography (…) is filled with images of obeisance and surrender, of primitivism, animalism and mass meltdown, of the destruction of the human spirit and the drive of outright rebellion. But even in the dark void at its centre there is humanity and tenderness, never quite extinguished.” (The Times, London, UK)

Political Mother
Hofesh Shechter’s first full-length work (for which he also wrote the score), Political Mother evokes worlds previously seen in Uprising and In your rooms, presented at Danse Danse in 2009. The piece had its première on May 20, 2010 at the Brighton Festival in England and then embarked on a world tour, performing in venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, LG Arts Centre in Seoul and Sadler’s Wells in London.

In an interview with Midi Libre in June 2011, Hofesh Shechter stated that “The theme of Political Mother was inspired by the way we are ready to demonstrate for distant causes but not for something close to home, in the same way that we can view horrors on television while wondering about what to have for dinner. The two worlds are unaware of each other, which creates emotional tensions that I want to explore.”

“Political Mother, then, does not sit around. Throughout, like a crazy film director with a twitchy edit finger, Shechter whisks us between different oppressed worlds and societies, groups and couples, states of mind and even styles of music. (…) Yes, the hunched sexy movement and rough-hewn stage geometries could only be by him, and the 10-strong troupe dances as if there’s no tomorrow.” (The Telegraph, London, UK)

Hofesh Shechter
Born in Jerusalem, Hofesh Shechter studied at the Jerusalem Academy for Dance and Music. He then moved to Tel Aviv, where he danced for the Batsheva Dance Company, directed by Ohad Naharin. His training as a percussionist eventually led him to Paris, where he pursued further studies in drum and percussion. It was there that Hofesh Shechter began composing his own music, while continuing to be involved in various artistic projects that involved dance, theatre and body percussion. He moved to London in 2002 to join the Jasmin Vardimon Dance company.

He made his début as a choreographer in 2003 at London’s The Place theatre with Fragments, a duo for which he also composed the music. It had quite an impact, and Shechter was named associate artist at The Place in 2004. Fragments toured many countries and was awarded first prize at the Serge Diaghilev Competition of Choreographic Art in Poland. Shechter then created Cult, a piece for 6 dancers that premiered at The Place and was presented in Korea, Sicily and Greece. It was followed by Uprising (2006), which was commissioned by the Robin Howard Foundation, and In your rooms (2007), commissioned by the trio of The Place/Southbank Centre/Sadler’s Wells.
In 2008 Hofesh Shechter founded his own company in London, while continuing to collaborate with other artists. In March 2009, Dance United – renowned for its work with underprivileged youth – joined forces with Sadler’s Wells to produce Destino, a piece featuring the choreographers Hofesh Shechter, Russell Maliphant and Adam Benjamin, as well as Junaid Jemal Sendi and Addisu Demissie, two young Ethiopians whose lives were transformed after being introduced to dance. In 2010 he presented Political Mother at the Brighton Festival, and The Fools for the New York company Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.
As an independent choreographer, Hofesh Shechter has created works for companies that include Bare Bones Dance Company, Candoco, Scottish Dance Theatre, Bern Ballet (Switzerland) and Ballet CeDeCe (Portugal). In the theatre he has worked with director Ramin Gray on Motortown and The Arsonists, two plays presented at the Royal Court Theatre in London, in addition to working with the National Theatre on Saint Joan. Channel 4 television invited him to choreograph a sequence for an episode of its popular drama Skins.

Danse Danse is pleased to once again present the work of this very promising artist. 
Lenght:  1 h 10

Political Mother
Performed by the Dancers and Musicians of Hofesh Shechter Company.  Choreography and Music Hofesh Shechter. Musical Collaborators Nell Catchpole, Yaron Engler. Percussion Arrangements Hofesh Shechter, Yaron Engler. Additional Music J.S Bach, Cliff Martinez, Joni Mitchell, Verdi. Lighting Design Lee Curran. Costume Design Merle Hensel. Text for sign stolen kindly from FOS.

Political Mother is commissioned by Brighton Dome and Festival, Sadler’s Wells and Movimentos – Festwochen der Autostadt in Wolfsburg. The work is co-commissioned by Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, Théâtre de la Ville, Romaeuropa and Mercat de les Flors. Produced in collaboration with Theatre Royal, Plymouth and with support from DanceXchange, Birmingham. The score for Political Mother was created in collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and barbicanbite09; with research supported by Jerwood Studio at Sadler’s Wells. Collaboration with FOS supported by Outset. The use of Solaris by Cliff Martinez is by arrangement with EMI Music Publishing Limited. Hofesh Shechter Company is supported by Arts Council England, Quercus Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and is Resident Company at Brighton Dome.

WARNING: strobe lighting and loud noise.



   meet the artists
Friday, November 2 – in the hall right after the performance 


2012-2013 SEASON

BJM - Les Ballets Jazz de MontréalHofesh Shechter CompanyFrédérick Gravel / Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroupJosé Navas / Compagnie FlakAszure Barton & ArtistsTAO Danse TheaterLa Otra OrillaCarte BlancheT.r.a.s.h.Fondation de danse Margie GillisMaría Pagés CompañíaSinha Danse / Constantinople