THE HEART OF MY HEART
by Gil Harush (2018)
It is as if we attempt to pass through an unbreakable wall, trying to fracture it, melt it, work it, challenge it, seduce it, flirt with it, tell it words of love and then… oh yes, to cover it. More than anything else we try cover the heart of our heart, that black small hole, where we keep all the things we miss and all the memories we wish to forget. But this hole, will never be covered. It will pulse on your wedding day, and on the birth of your first child and it was there already in childhood when you were expected to be only smiling. So giving up, it seems, would be the best thing to DO, but the most uncomfortable place to BE. At least, I will understand why I loved you. Or maybe most importantly, I will understand why I hated you more than anything else.
Not too long ago, in one of my meetings with Bruno Bouche, the artistic director of the Ballet de l'Opéra national du Rhin, we discussed my work experience as a contemporary dance choreographer challenged and excited by classical ballet orientated dancers. He told me how Rudolf Nuriev, the classical ballet star and past artistic director of the Paris Opera, used to guide the ballerinas to dance softly on their point-shoes and to connect with the floor. Logically, it is almost impossible - the idea of point-shoes had been invented to give the illusion of flying, a most unnatural character. You must pull yourself up, so strongly, in order
to achieve perfect lines and figures. Although just standing on these shoes is one of the most painful things in a professional dancer’s life, they have all learned how to be comfortable and magically beautiful on them.
It made me travel in my mind through history and realize how the most impressive and virtuous ballet movement and positions began in simple dances in gardens of kings and queens to develop into an artistic phenomenon - classical ballet. These trained and fascinating bodies, these personal instruments, are everything. I arrived at the studio and I felt that I was given a chance to live in a time where classical ballet is a technique and a base to build upon. My passion is to manipulate it, to create a circle out of the classical line, to reach the lowest place a body can get to, as if we could touch the floor with our sexual body parts, and learn all the dynamics and qualities the body can express, never forgetting that in order to break a figure, with love, you must first have it together. As a choreographer and as a psychotherapist, my aim is to give new interpretation, perspective or idea to a dancer’s movements. I share my discovery of them, where they can take a risk, and I give it back to them. If they relate to it, it will be presented to you, the audience, on stage.
In the summer of 2016, a friend recommended that I watch a Michelle Obama speech. Over the course of 30 minutes she explained profusely and intently her support of Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States. “I also told you about our daughters” she said, “how they are the heart of our hearts , the center of our world”. This phrase resounded in me, over days and nights, while I imagined the atmosphere, colors and movement of phrases that express behaviors of a soul. It was the first time I heard this expression. I felt frustrated, thinking that the heart of my heart is an unreachable spot. Instantly, it became the central
metaphor for my creative process. The heart of my heart, or the heart of your heart, became a place where I'm aiming to connect with, both an inner and and an artistic research.
As a child, I was lucky to be born to a very supportive couple, my parents. They were always focused on fulfilling our needs, mine and of my three brothers, especially those that their parents could not fulfill for them. I remember asking them to get me a swing that I could play with in the garden. They never refused it and even said “yes, of course”, as they did for anything else that we ever asked for. But they never got it. A swing was in fact the only thing my parents did not get for me. I have never been frustrated about it, but still, I most remember not getting a swing more than I remember the endless things that I HAVE gotten.
The swing became a symbol, a name in my inner world to the most abstract thing. We all have a “swing”, but we each name it differently. In the creation process, I have wished that the performers would find a way to connect to their individual swing, to have it present because it’s an inseparable part of us, and move, feel, think about that feeling, give interpretation to their art. To be aware. Then, to share it bravely with you our audience, the partners of the moment.
“Splitting” is a concept that has been developed by the psychoanalyst Ronald Fairbairn. It means a failure in a person's thinking, to bring together the both positive and negative into a realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism used by people already from childhood, which makes us blind to the fact that one object can be good and bad at the same time. After splitting, we wish to hold to what we marked as good and avoid what we marked as bad. Almost absurdly, in this way we probably do the best we can to never live in inner peace. Metaphorically, we have for centuries lived splittings evils and saints, rich and poor, black and white.
As we consider our daughters, we particularly split between strong, assertive, independent men and weak, passive, under-compensated women. We continue to split over the course of our lifetime, missing an opportunity to integrate our inner strength with our “swing”. The part we wish to avoid, is there to reminds us that all everyone wants, is simply to be loved.
This creation is dedicated to the incredibly important woman Michelle Obama,
and to my parents, for never getting me a swing.