Orangerie Herrenhausen

Ship of Fools & We Love Arabs

Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor (IL) / Hillel Kogan (IL)

A photo from the production "Ship of Fools" and a photo from the production "We Love Arabs"
© Gadi Dagon

Ship of Fools - Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor (IL)


“[…] With no fear of foolishness, ‘Ship of Fools’ is fantastic dance theatre that intelligently and disquietingly explores the possibilities of human coexistence. […] Twice Uri Shafir calls on the audience to sing along. Together we sing the rousing Abba number ‘The Way Old Friends Do’. It’s about living together after violence and fighting. To begin with, the sing-along works very well. But after a while, the singer’s voice falters. The foundering of a utopian dream has rarely been made so poignantly tangible on stage.”

Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 September 2014

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Inspired by the medieval satire of the same name by German theologian Sebastian Brant, Israeli dancer Niv Sheinfeld and actor Oren Laor have created a choreography that is full of dark humour. Like the original work, which was a sensation in the fifteenth century, it is a rousing, affecting piece played out by starkly differing characters. Here, they are the athletic Sascha Engel, the Amazonian Anat Grigorio and the lean Uri Shafir. All three are charismatic performers who take command of the stage with their highly individual movement vocabularies. In brilliantly danced scenes veering between the amusing and the sobering, they explore human relations, trying to make contact, fencing themselves off and wielding power in the difficult process of negotiating society. These elements and more are combined in a complex exploration of the social status quo that leaves nobody unmoved.

(Approx. 60 Min.)


Watch a video clip from the production on youtube


followed by

We Love Arabs - Hillel Kogan (IL)


“[…] Exploring the space by pacing around it, Kogan tells the audience where he feels comfortable and where he does not. The latter places represent the foreign, alien other, which he wants to be portrayed by an Arab dancer. But does this rather slight Arab figure, Adi Boutros, really embody the macho Muslim he feels is his antithesis? It transpires Boutros is a Christian, born in Tel Aviv. With ironic exaggeration, Kogan performs common clichés as well as the choreographic patterns of the public’s well-meaning consideration of politics. […]”

Deutschlandfunk, “Kultur heute”, 8 September 2014

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One of Israel’s best-respected dance critics described “We Love Arabs” as “the most brilliant choreographic adventure” she has seen for years – “witty, provocative, political and screamingly funny”. A duet by Hillel Kogan for himself and an Arab dancer, it describes the process of creating a choreography on the subject of different identities. Kogan lets his dancer and the audience share in his restless, challenging mind, and his impressive movement repertoire, casually firing some passing salvos at the worlds of dance and politics at the same time. His weapons are his astute observation, his dancing and acting skills and his well-developed feeling for situations and space. With them he has made “We Love Arabs” a sure-fire satirical piece that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

(Approx. 35 Min.)

Watch a video clip from the production on youtube

(Performance in Hanover will be in English)


cast & credits (Ship of Fools)

Choreography/ Direction: Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor
Performers/ Co-creators: Sascha Engel, Anat Grigorio, Uri Shafir
Music: ABBA, Didi Erez, Michael Jackson, Pet Shop Boys
Costume: Inbal Lieblich
Light design: Netta Koren

With the support of: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem/ Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv/ Adama, Mitzpe Ramon/ Israeli Choreographers Association, Tel Aviv


cast & credits (We Love Arabs)

Choreography: Hillel Kogan
Dance: Adi Boutrous, Hillel Kogan
Music:  Kazem Alsaher, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Artistic Advisors: Inbal Yaacobi, Rotem Tashach
Premiered at the 2013 Intimadance events, Tmuna Theater, Tel Aviv

Hillel Kogan is a member of the Israeli Choreographers Association.


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