Old Wives' Tales
"Rise Woman and Make Us a Cake"
 
Ensemble 209
 
Directed by: Tamar Raban and Guy Gutman
Participants:
Yael Even-Zohar, Gina Ben-David ; Daniel Bruk, Lika Bruk, Tamar Cristasyashvili, Yossi Doister, Yana Fridman, Guy Gutman, Tami Lebovits ; Ariela Plotkin, Ram Rahamim, Tamar Raban

The basis for the creation of the show Old Wives' Tales is in the use of texts of fairy tales and legends translated from different languages. Almost at random, I chose the texts from amongst the many stories dealing with women –as told by them or by men from their point of view on women.
Naturally, being a woman, the selection was made through personal identification, but not necessarily from a desire to present a specific social standpoint or declaration. Prominent in all the stories are the descriptions of plots, tricks, and lies that motivate the characters, and the point of the tale, if it exists, it is not of the educational and moral kind.
 
Beyond the fact that these stories create and reveal a world that touches on the personal and collective consciousness and sub-conscious, they represent for me a point of origin for a work process and a life experienced shared with a group of creators. In the group – which included artists, professional actors, an architect, a musician, a young girl, a chocolatier, a pastry chef, and people who are considered as having mental retardation – each one brings his own personality, talent and special skills. Together they create a wide community, a social micro-cosmos that at almost every moment raises different aspects of the story from an unanticipated point of view.
 
In the texts I look for a quality of texture more than of meaning; those are created as a by-product of the process. I did not try to prove a pre-determined thesis as the starting point of the work but rather to discover through it what I did not know, and especially – to meet people, creative partners: participants and audience alike.
 
I invite the public to my studio to join an intimate and unmediated meeting with me, with my creative partner and musician Guy Gutman and with the texts. In parallel, we discover a world that could be real, could be fantastical; a cinema or a bubble of consciousness; a neglected basement at the Central Bus Station where a bakery is run, or a projection of a bakery onto the space of the station; a reflection of the fairytale or the fairytale itself; a work of art or a slice of life.
 
The chocolate making and pastry baking throughout the performance are a parallel narrative to the fairytale that has been replicated in the world of the bakery. I hope that what occurs will allow for a different reading that will be experienced through the various senses and will tempt the palate and the memory, a happening that to my taste is bitter-sweet.
 
You are welcome to taste
                                                                     
Tamar Raban
"The experience of dual observation is relentless…over the years Raban's art has absorbed her special character: work with texts and the creation of a distinct visual presence, attention given to the smallest details and a continuing exploration of the possibilities inherent within her chosen medium…and this show is the same: precise and magical…open, human and full of possibilities."
Ruti Direktor, 7 Nights, "Yediot Achronot," 1.12.06
 
"There is something exciting about all the productions by 'Ensemble 209', the Performance Art Platform house company… Raban's charisma proves itself time after time. It doesn't matter what she says or how she moves on the stage, she is hypnotizing."
Dana Gillerman, Gallery, "Haaretz," 15.11.06 
 
Wow! That is the sensation when leaving Tamar Raban's and Ensemble 209's production of "Old Wives Tales."
Daniela Doron, "Time Out," 9.11.06
 
"Only Tamar Raban can bring together a girl, a chocolatier, a pastry chef, a musician, professional actors and mentally challenged participants and turn the connect ion between them into a theatrical production."
Galit Adout, "Pnai Plus," 22.11.06
 
"Tamar Raban has done it again. Her "Old Wives Tales" carries the smells, tastes and atmosphere of home and of a journey into the deepest memories of all us. Her performance brings together musicians, actors, an architect, a chocolatier, a pastry chef and of course multi-disciplinary artists. Together they all manages to take the spectator on an unusual experience, one that takes him to other places.
Miri Krimolovski, Yoman Tarbut, Reshet Beth, Kol Israel
 

 

 

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