© 2012-2018 Ronnie Heller // Ronnie Heller Dance Theater //  תאטרון מחול רוני הלר

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Iron Maiden


Solo from "DO NOT DISTURB"


[ 2010 ]

From an interview for Arale, The Sizzling Shutter:


ARALE: "Who are you? "


RONNIE: "I was born in the U.S. 1975 and raised back and forth between here (Israel) and there in accord with my fathers'  academic career (both my parents are Israeli). When from a very young age you move between cultures and different lifestyles, it brings upon the opportunity to grasp early on in life that everything is relative and therefor can be of one or another nature. Nothing is absolute and sacred to all, and in short, one gains the freedom of understanding one can choose to define life in his or her own accord. I consider this early insight as a great privilege. Other than this, I had a superficially casual childhood. I received a thorough, sometimes harsh education and upbringing with old school European values  from my mother, and Bolshevik in the spirit of passionately capitalist Kibbutz veterans, painfully sobered up from their socialist and communist dream from my father. In both cases, we are talking about two persons with a strong set of values that take life very seriously. As a child I was immersed in to gymnastics training. I suppose that had I been of less creative and more stable character, I would have become an athlete of some sort. I have  the highest admiration for professional athletes. During my teens I was painting intensively, had deep interest in philosophy and  in fashion, and  was very very morbid.... difficult times. I managed to find a way out of joining the military service and went straight ahead to  study art at "Kalisher School of Art" in  Tel Aviv. During my art studies  I  started my return to the body through the intensive practice of Chinese martial arts and through my growing interest in body art and performance art. Pretty quickly came the clear acknowledgment of a need to lead an intensely physical life, though I never wanted to be a dancer, nor did i feel any compassion towards what I knew to be dance or towards the stage. Only an encounter by chance with the work of American postmodern dancer Lisa Nelson drew me to the world of dance and brought me to begin my studies and physical work at "Rubin Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance", and it continues today.


A: Ronnie, not many know this, but you dive through furniture. What is this?


R: The idea was to create a kind of magic show in which I am both the lovely assistant being cut apart and reassembled, and the skilled magician performing the act.  My thought was: "had Houdini been a woman, what would her act look  like?" and from there I went on. This specific piece of furniture was brought to Israel by my grandmother Lola when she and her family immigrated to Israel from Vienna Austria during the pre-war 1930's and it used to hold a sewing machine. In "Do not Disturb" I crawl through a low stool, but I do not think I am becoming syrial. Here this need has come to it's satisfaction.


A: What kind of professional training do you have, where did you study?


R:  I have a Bachelor in dance from Jerusalem Academy, went on to study the dances of Noa Eshkol and E.W. movement notation, whose work I admire. I took many workshops and master classes in and out of Israel and mostly I just worked alone. Alone , alone, slowly, slowly, slowly and with perseverance. There were many failures and rejections. Many. I went through much frustration and feelings of incapability.


A: You are total. What will happen when you can no longer perform?


R: First and foremost, I do not believe in this way of thinking. I was always as I am. It is a kind of natural unstoppable performing personality on and off stage. Constant. I do not separate life and art. Art is  a part of the phenomena of life. I feel best when all aspects of my life allow me to express my devotion and my creativity esthetically and intellectually. Many things are about devotion for me, about a big passion to live my life to the fullest every single moment. My career role model is the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, who recently passed away at 96. She created persistently from her youth, but only reached success and acknowledgment as an artist in her late 60's. Also Kazuo Ono that died lately as well (!) at age 103, still performing, dancing. I have Marathon energy. It is very clear to me that I am only in the beginning of my journey.
 

A: with such a lovely pair of legs how/why are you not a celeb?  

R: Thank you. Being famous is absolutely outside of my interests. I don't own a T.V. and don't have a clue. What I am interested in is doing something meaningful with my life. To touch others. To change things, to make a difference. I strongly believe in the power of art and I do have much to say. I would be very content if finally I would manage to realize my work and gain recognition as an influential artist. But this will take much time and much work. 

...

A: In this show you slaughter some of the rituals of femininity. Why?


R: I don't feel we slaughter them. If we were able to completely detach ourselves from them, the picture would be different all together. We are trying to give light to a broader frame. Truly, while looking at something from a broader perspective, it eases dealing with it, or rather, optimizes conditions for dealing with it, but all parts still exist within. What this perspective of our femininity allows us is self humor. This is one of the gifts of maturing, of becoming more confidant as a person, woman, artist. But this does not mean that we have overcome our fears and that we have freed ourselves totally from society and all its ailments. Everything effects us just the same, only that to our great fortune we have managed to grow alternative places as well; alternative limbs and organs, more truly free places of our own. And maybe the room, in which each character stays, for a short time, alone and undisturbed, temporarily but totally free from everything, not having to be anything but she herself, maybe this is the so longed for "room of ones own"  Virginia Wolf talked about. A place where I am not afraid to be 100 percent the woman I am."