Hadar Ahuvia & Shira Eviatar
Please note that there is no late seating for this performance.
Possessing brings together artists Hadar Ahuvia and Shira Eviatar to collaboratively question their inherited connections to the Israeli nation-state, asking “How do we move together?” Ahuvia, unpacking Ashkenazi heritage in institutionalized Zionist folk dance, and Eviatar, recentralizing Arab/Mizrahi aesthetics in contemporary performance, incite dialogue around appropriation, legacy, and settler-colonialism. After conducting research separately, they come together to deepen their questions and application of their respective forms.
Their search unfolds in movements that recall ancestors’ and institutionalized celebration and mourning rituals—extending far past their respective bodies and histories. They invite community engagement as part of this first iteration of performance research.
Please join us for a post-show Toast on November 21, and post-performance discussion moderated by Jen Abrams on November 22.
This performance contains nudity.
A note on funding
As we worked in acknowledgement of ongoing occupation in Israel/Palestine and ongoing struggles in the US//Turtle Island by first nations, we considered our ethical responsibilities. In Israel/Palestine, as in the US/Turtle Island, there are no neutral spaces. The spaces where we worked are sites of ongoing dislocation.
As an artist residing in Israel, Shira has been awarded funding from the Department of Culture, funding that once given is not subject to political oversight by the state. Shira chooses to use these funds to further Arab Jewish visibility. Her work makes spaces that humanize Arabs and elevates shared Arab aesthetics as resistance to the Zionist narrative.This grows from an understanding that the Israeli nation-state was built on the oppression of all Arabs, Jews and Palestinians. Shira builds this solidarity as a first step to furthering discussions in Israel about the occupation.
While Hadar does not live in Israel, as a dual citizen her right to return is enshrined by the state, while others are denied that access. She acknowledges that her ongoing work in the US, and her ability to work is supported by institutions whose wealth derives from structures that are built on centuries of enslavement, broken treaties and dispossession. She is hopes to work within her Jewish American and artistic context, to shift narratives around Israel/Palestine, to make vivid our power to end US support for Palestinian occupation, and move towards policies that ensure justice and peace for Israelis and Palestinians.
Irrespective of the content of the work, we made decisions about how and where we would work, with the ethics of solidarity in mind. In Israel/Palestine we chose to work as much as possible in artist-run spaces. Our work was supported by Studio Catamon in Jerusalem/Al Quds, by a Rosh Pinah Residency in what was Al-Ja’una, and by Yasmeen Godder Studio in Yaffa/Yafo. We were also supported by Seminar Hakibutzim in Ramat Aviv/Al-Shaykh Muwannis. In the US/Turtle Island, we were space grant recipients at the Harkness Dance Center at the 92 Y. We are honored to included in Eva Yaa Asantewaa visionary, inaugural season at Gibney Dance.
As we dream about the future of the work, we are committed to not performing this work at events that are sponsored by Israeli state or consular bodies.
About THE ARTISTS
Hadar Ahuvia moves between identities, reverberating from ruptures enacted within three generations from Europe, to Israel/Palestine and the US. A white Ashkenazi Jewish artist, she is committed to a radical diasporism. Her work proposes embodied repair through choreographic and vocal practice. As such it is a homage and break from a lineage of Zionist cultural workers.
Ahuvia is grateful to have worked with artists Sara Rudner, Jill Sigman, Donna Uchizono, Molly Poerstel, Anna Sperber, Jon Kinzel, Stuart Shugg, Tatyana Tenenbaum, and Kathy Westwater. She currently performs with Reggie Wilson/ Fist and Heel Performance Group, and is in process with Tatyana Tenenbaum and Shira Eviatar.
She is grateful to have received support from the Brooklyn Arts Council, and residencies at DTW/NYLA (2012 Fresh Tracks Artist) Movement Research (2015 AIR), the 14th St. Y (2016 LABA Fellow), Art Stations Foundation through MR’s GPS program, CUNY Dance Initiative at the College of Staten Island (2017), EtM Choreographer + Composer Residency at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), Yaddo, and Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Ahuvia has presented works at DTW/NYLA, Art Stations Foundation in Poznan, Poland, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, the 14th St Y, The James Gallery, and Danspace Project. She was 2018 Bessie nominee for Outstanding “Breakout” Choreographer, and named a Dance Magazine “25 to Watch in 2019”. She is a founding member of Jewish Voice for Peace Artists Council and organizes with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
Shira Eviatar examines the transmission of embodied cultural knowledge, calling on her Moroccan Jewish heritage. She researches traditional forms of gathering and celebration. Her work considers the body as both material and coded, reflecting the collective values, states of mind, sensations and feelings in cultural practice. It makes visible and nurtures spaces for excluded forms, recentralizing Mizrahi/Arab Jewish aesthetics and subjectivities.
Eviatar is an independent choreographer and dancer based in Jaffa. She was a 2015 DanceWeb Scholarship Program participant (2015), holds a degree in dance theatre from Kibbutzim College. She studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York and at Kelim – a program for choreographic research. She has performed her works in festivals throughout Israel and Europe, such as Rencontres chorégraphiques Festival, Fabbrica Europa festival, SPRING festival, EPOS Film Festival / Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and more. She was invited to present her works Body Roots and Rising at Theater De La Bastille in Paris and by the Bat-Sheva Dance Company. Eviatar has lectured and led workshops about her work in Israel, Europe, and the US.
Eviatar was a guest artist at SEAD and at the International Cumplicidades Festival in Portugal with the AADK in Spain, a project which aimed at generating dialogue between artists of the Mediterranean area. She recently collaborated with the international tap dancer Josette Wiggan to co-create Tapping into Self, which premiered in Intimadance Festival, 2018. Some of her works include Body Roots, Body Mandala, Rising, Eviatar/Said, Three Generations: One Body, Kosher and De-Port Workers.
Design by Shira Eviatar, photos by Maria Baranova and Bart Grientens.
Gibney Presents, curated by Senior Curatorial Director Eva Yaa Asantewaa, is Gibney’s premier presentation series, offering a rich blend of dance and performance in fully produced, evening-length commissions.
Gibney 280 Broadway is accessible via elevator from the main entrance at 53A Chambers Street.
We welcome the opportunity to make this event more accessible. Please refrain from wearing scented products, so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us. Please request ASL interpreting, audio description, or open captioning 30 days before the event or submit other requests by completing our Access Requests and Inquiries Form or calling 646.837.6809 (Voice only).