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Choreographer Zaides serves up some solos

by Tai Kawabata

Arkadi Zaides, an independent choreographer and dancer, will present two solo dance pieces and a three-day workshop in Tokyo this month.

Zaides was born in Belarus in 1979 and emigrated to Israel in 1990. He built his career in well-known dance groups such as Noa Dar Dance Group, Batsheva Dance Company and Yasmeen Godder Dance Group.

“Solo Colores,” choreographed by Zaides and directed by Itay Weiser, features solo female dancer Iris Erez. She dances with such precision that a degree of high concentration is demanded from her audience.

The dance takes place on a barren space adorned only by two sculptures by Spanish sculptor Isabel Cruellas, which resemble water reeds. No special lighting effects are used. Generally the dance avoids large movements such as jumping or moving over long distances.

Utilizing many pauses and small, quick movements of the hands, arms and legs, the dancer appears to be engaged in a monologue of some sort of suffering and attempting to find a solution.

In contrast, “Solo Siento,” choreographed and danced by Zaides, appears dynamic but well-controlled. Despite the piece’s abstract nature, the audience is presented with a strong, aesthetic structure.

Zaides dances with a giant silhouette of himself on the back wall — half naked and wearing a bizarre costume with a lump of cloth hanging between his legs. Moving his limbs using large movements, the dance goes on almost continuously without poses.

At a later stage, video images created by Shira Miasnik take over, showing Zaides dancing naked. The dance is characterized by the closeness of his body and the floor. In some scenes, it even seems as if his disembodied head and torso are bouncing repeatedly on the floor.

“Arkadi Zaides — Solos” will be held Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. at Session House (158 Yarai-cho, Shinjuku Ward), near the No. 1 Exit of Kagurazaka Station on the Tozai Subway Line. Tickets are ¥3,800 (¥3,500 in advance) and ¥2,500 for students. For more information, call (03) 3266-0461 or visit www.session-house.net. The workshop will be held Oct. 21, 22 and 25. Zaides will teach “gaga,” a body movement language invented by Ohad Naharin of the Batsheva Dance Company, and his repertory.