The explosiveness of Hofesh Shechter’s pieces on stage, works of pulsating rhythms in which angry young men take to the barricades, has gained him a rock star reputation among choreographers. His work evokes a harsh wind blowing from the street through the theater.
The explosiveness of Hofesh Shechter’s pieces on stage, works of pulsating rhythms in which angry young men take to the barricades, has gained him a rock star reputation among choreographers. His work evokes a harsh wind blowing from the street through the theater. His wild, raw dance exerts a very direct effect on the audience. Shechter shows us aggression and loss of control, dictators and the oppressed, chaos on the streets of major cities and humanity reeling into the apocalypse. He is a choreographer of the metropolis in which hazy smoke drifts through the streets and the concrete is illuminated by harsh light. An existential rage burns in many of his pieces, which is suddenly interrupted by the void behind it. He shows the struggle against darkness and the yearning for freedom.
Shechter was born in Jerusalem in 1974. As a young boy, he studied piano and ballet, before developing a love of rock music and pulsating drums. He then had to serve in the army, which he found to be a traumatic experience. He danced in Israel’s most well-known ensemble, the Batsheva Dance Company, where he learned Ohad Naharin’s gaga method. He first began to choreograph in London, and his subsequent rise through the British dance scene was meteoric. He achieved worldwide renown with works such as Uprising and Political Mother.
In 2008 he founded the Hofesh Shechter Company. Today his works are performed by numerous other companies as well. He loves large wild groups, often contrasting them with extremely short, quiet scenes. His dance is restless, grounded, dynamic and free and draws influences from Jewish folk dancing, which to a certain extent he tears apart and reassembles in splinters. Schechter frequently composes the music for his own works, producing driving, filmic soundtracks which combine driving beats and hard rock and are often performed live. However, he also choreographs to baroque music, as in Grand Finale where he envisions humanity waltzing itself into ruin.
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