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Presencia is a work about memory and movement.

Dance is based on the essential fact that dancers learn and memorize movements they will repeat again and again. But these memories of the actual choreographic moves are imbedded with other personal memories, recall other works, or remind common life kinetic experiences. All these, unconsciously inform what takes place on stage.

Paraphrasing American scholar Donna Haraway we could say that it matters what personal memories are evoked when memorizing choreographic movements. And when two dancers meet on stage, it matters what each movement means for each one of the dancers. 

In order to act out memories and render them visible to the public, for Presencia, May Zarhy and the dancers Brit Rodemund and Dominic Santia created a duet based on touch and then omitted the touch while insisting on performing the same movements. To reinforce this skill they took pantomime classes. In that process, Zarhy addressed not only the personal memories of the dancers, but created a common field of mindfulness with the public, who is able to interpret and understand the otherwise abstract gestures onstage, and identify a flow that is based on recollection, and one that is clearly abstract. The soundtrack by Daniela Ljungsberg made mostly from layers of recordings of sounds produced by movements of the dancers, likewise relates to the memory of the creative process.

As is Ausencia and other previous works, in Presencia, Zarhy dwells in that gap between the concrete and the abstract - between functional, daily movements and ones that we could call dance - that are the basis of her practice. That is where the question of “memory” is instrumental as the main mechanism of “identification” both for the dancers and for the public. Most importantly, it’s a quest into the way that personal sensations can be shared with the other - with the audience - and to practice a deep listening so that in Zarhy’s own words: “something intimate can be shared.”


Choreography: May Zarhy

In collaboration with the dancers: Brit Rodemund, Dominic Santia

Music: Daniella Ljungsberg

Rehearsal director, Outside eye: Moran Muller, Ariel Gelbart

Light: Rotem Elroy

Costumes: Vivi Ben Ezra 

Research assistant: Nitsan Margaliot

Pantomime coaching: Katja Tannert

Consultation costumes: Claudia Hill

Technical assistant: Felix Lindner

Production: Dino Spiri

Selected works page image: Jubal Battisti

Distribution: Fauves - Agency for the Performing Arts (Léa Chalmont + Julia Danila)



Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the program NEUSTART KULTUR

Mifal Hapais

Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, Tel Aviv


8, 9, 10.2.2023 | Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv

19.6.2023 Tanz | Moderne | Tanz Festival, Chemnitz Germany

21.6.2023 | Machol Shalem, Jerusalem Israel

22.6.2023 | Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv Israel

2, 3.2.2024 | Holland Dance Festival, The Netherlands

12.6.2024 | Theaterforum Kreuzberg, Berlin Germany

20.6.2024 | Festival Danza Estate, Bergamo Italy

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