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Curtain Up: Political Mother


By Mary Daily

Published Oct 1, 2011 12:00 AM


Photo by Tom Medwell.

When Israeli Hofesh Shechter's Political Mother premiered in the U.K. in 2010, critics declared it an "audiovisual marvel" and "a work of galvanizing challenging power." Now the hotly anticipated no-holds-barred work comes to Royce Hall for its U.S. premiere.

Political Mother Trailer

Trailer of Political Mother: The Choreographer's Cut, performed in July 2011 in London's Sadler's Wells Theater.

From Hofesh Shechter Company YouTube page.

Shechter, an alumnus of the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company of Israel and a former rock drummer, dazzled UCLA Live audiences in 2009 with Uprising/in your rooms. Now Political Mother, his company's next full-length work, pairs his atmospheric, bombastic score with 10 dancers' raw physicality in a performance that is gritty and complex.

Championed by the UK press and praised in The New York Times as "thrilling," Shechter presents a compelling worldview — a dizzy, sometimes confrontational, take on, among other sharp-edged ideas, the relationship between the individual and government. Beginning with a soldier's hara-kiri and continuing on in relentless, hypnotic fashion, the work took London by storm.

London's Independent has said, "There is a kind of urban-guerrilla edginess to Shechter's movement style. Its unorthodox maneuvers can catch you off-guard in ways that are bound to disorient conventional expectations. There is nothing complacent to be seen here."

Shechter stresses the critical role of his audiences in the process. "My work is not finished until there is an audience watching," he says, adding, "It is a ceremony ... made up of the energy that is bouncing back and forth between the stage and the audience. If one person sat in a room and watched, he might enjoy it very much, but he would miss out on a serious aspect of my work, on the acknowledgement of the ceremony of it."

Hofesh Shechter Company: Political Mother. Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. Royce Hall. Tickets: $20, $15 for UCLA students. For more information, call (310) 825-2101 or visit at