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Eshet Chayil
A Woman of Valor

On stage, a woman prepares a traditional meal for the coming Sabbath. Through her daily chores, her layered inner world unfolds. The inner browsing within her body shows feelings, memories and expectations that are embroidered into a dance.

The piece offers a glance into the woman's secret world, and reveals the sketches from the depth of her body.

A Woman of Valor, called Eshet Chayil in Hebrew, is a hymn that is customarily recited on Friday evenings, after returning from synagogue.

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Premier in "Between Heaven and Earth" Dance Festival 2012, Jerusalem Israel Artistic director: Ronen Yitzhaki, Daniella Michaeli

The reciting of the hymn is metaphorically directed towards the woman of the house, praising and acknowledging her hard work, preparations and caring for her home before and during the Sabbath.

The performance touches the universal aspect of the woman living within a personal and social space. The Sabbath meal and the Jewish tradition represent the organized and structured framework, which can also be undone.

This meeting allows us to re-examine questions about the nature of the woman between the personal and the stereotypical - according to what criteria do we define our "self"? To what extent does the definition of the ego depend on me or on the society in which I live in?

Reviews

“Another good performance is Eshet Hayil by Iris Nais and Galit Liss. Nais stands beside a big table around which a big family is dining. Her voluminous dress also serves as a white tablecloth. This is a woman who works, and doesn’t take a moment’s rest…

In the beautiful concluding scene, the table is covered with a white tablecloth on top of which are transparent wine glasses for the Sabbath Kiddush. This time the dancer is on the table. She is the master. She moves on all fours, lithely spreading her arms and legs, changing directions, unsparing in her desire to spread wings, yet at the same time she does not damage the fragile glasses. Tension is created here between the awareness required for movement in the restricted space and the danger of breaking the glasses and being hurt. Everything is open to interpretation, and perhaps this is the solution found by the woman who seeks fluid and expanding movement, yet strives to preserve a territory identified with tradition.”

Ruth Eshel , Haaretz, Israel, 23.12.12

Duration: 20 minutes

Participants and co-creators :

"Between Heaven and Earth" Dance Festival 2012:

Choreography: Iris Nais and Galit Liss / Performing dancer: Iris Nais / Soundtrack design and editing: Moshe Shasho / Piano: Yoav Ilan, Tomer Adaddi, Dr. Naama Oshri / Stage, props and costume design: Iris Nais. Galit Liss /Setting: Gabriel Hada

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