A picture from the production
© Tamar Lamm

Ballhof Eins

The Swan and the Pimp

German premiere

Hillel Kogan (IL)


“[…] Even the clichés are inverted in this work. For instance, he comes to lie between her legs like in a mother’s lap, while she helps him, the older partner, get up from the splits, then clasps his body with her legs like a child seeking comfort. Both have their vulnerabilities; performing their movements close together, they often seem like a body and its shadow, an idea and its realization.  […] Kogan’s piece delicately and convincingly dissects the ballet material, never just quoting it, but rather taking it as points of departure for his own, very concrete movements and surprising constellations, all starkly contrasted with overlapping sounds of rap, techno, Tchaikovsky and Saint Saëns.”

Braunschweiger Zeitung, 7 September 2019

Preview Text

Israeli choreographer Hillel Kogan’s works are as demanding for the dancers as they are entertaining for the audience. In “We Love Arabs” – Kogan’s festival debut five years ago – he cast his subtly ironic gaze on the prejudices and power struggles that prevail (not only) in the dance world. In the duet presented this year, for which he invited Carmel Ben Asher, a dancer twenty years younger than him, to perform the female part, he takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the ideologies and gender-role clichés that dominate conventional aesthetics. “The Swan and the Pimp” embellishes these opposing poles and brings the saint and the whore, the hero and the antihero on to the stage. And they certainly don’t go easy on each other: While they spread their wings in harmony one moment, the mood can suddenly change, and a torrid struggle for dominance begins. Marking Kogan’s second appearance at the festival, this is a piece of finest entertainment, masking clear-sighted social criticism.

(approx. 70 mins)

Watch a video on Vimeo

cast & credits

Choreography: Hillel Kogan
Dancers: Carmel Ben Asher, Hillel Kogan
Dramaturge & Artistic Advisor: Sharon Zuckerman Weiser
Music: Rejoicer (Original Music),
Piotr Tchaikovsky - J Dilla, - C. Saint Saëns
Lighting: Ofer Laufer
Costumes: Evelyn Terdiman

Production : Hillel Kogan Ltd

Executive producer: Drôles de Dames

Co-production: Hillel Kogan LTD/ DdD/ Scène Nationale de Chateauvallon/ Théâtre de L’étincelle de Rouen

With thanks to: La Briqueterie - Centre de Développement Chorégraphique du Val de Marne

Hillel Kogan is supported by the Israeli Lottery and the Israeli Ministry of Culture.

With the support from the Israeli Embassy.

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