....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 I CAN SEE THEM COMING (2013)

....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

This macabre dance piece, contemplating the Israeli cult of commemoration, moves on the fine line between truth and fiction.

 The work is influenced by the artist’s personal biography, and is the result of observing Israeli rituals of bereavement from within and from without. Thus, free of taboos or any constraints whatsoever, the ridiculousness and deception of our death ritual is exposed, as well as its true personal and national functions.

Onstage, a somewhat feline woman repeatedly kills and commemorates herself in rituals, tombstones, songs and dances. She examines different ways of remembering, of defeating the absolute end. Her life and death permeate into one another; sadness and formality are painted in glittering, sexy kitsch, until both content and form lose their meaning.

 

Winner of 'shades in dance' choreography competition 2013

 

Choreography and performance: Merav Dagan

Additional performers: Ada Dagan and Ofir Ben Shimon

Original music and audio editing: Daniel Sapir

Additional music: Danse Macabre ,Op. 40, Camille Saint-Saëns

Costume design: Yuli Davidovich, 6B

Artistic consultant: Idit Herman

"Merav's work I can See Them Coming is a staged portrayal of an obsessive commemoration as an mental process  at the end of which only fatality awaits. But the success of the work is in itself a paradox - Dagan's handling of trauma lacks the usage of the creative process as a therapeutic process. She doesn't use her choreographic work to deals with the heartache caused by trauma or questions of morality. Instead, she turns to the creative process after having already processed death and remembrance, allowing for her criticism of repetitive military texts and formalities be wise and sober rather than impulsive and emotional. Which is also why the fatality the piece is leading towards indicates a  decision to go on living , and a farewell from the obsessive dealing with death, which had been completely exhausted.

Dagan's dance piece is a kind of observation on a mental process which has already completed. It is because of this point of view that Dagan can exhibit nudity not as a provocation but as  a complex aesthetic tool depicting the mental depths we reach when handling death. It succeeds because of the ceremonial boundaries given to it, despite the chewed over kitsch. Dagan offers a deep insight into our commemorative ceremonies without falling to the popular clichés and while using the familiar ceremonies to base her claim. The repetitive nature of the ceremonial acts allow Dagan a totality in her identification with death, at the end of which she is naked, hl=holding a framed image of herself as the subject of mourning, a symbol of adoption, containment and acceptance of the ritual she had just performed". (Dana Shalev, Erev-Rav 2013)

                                                                               

"…The most successful of them all was I Can See Them Coming by Merav Dagan, a piece dealing with the Israeli commemoration rituals while drawing on her personal biography. Dagan has a sharp physical presence and a great sense for connecting materials and mythology. With total dedication and great frivolity she has created her own commemoration ritual of herself, using the very same symbols we are all familiar with. It was a invitation and expulsion ritual, filled with idiotic yet magical moments followed by desperate thoughts about remembrance and about forgetting". (Anat Zecharia, Yediot Aharonot 2013)