MONGER - Barak Marshall

Monger photo Gregory Batardon 50A8197
Choreography : Barak Marshall
Assistant : Osnat Kelner
Lighting: Arnaud Viala
Costumes: Marion Schmid
Music: Taraf Ionel Budisteanu, Tommy Dorsey, Kocani Orkestar, Balakn Beat Box, Taraf de Haidouks, Goran Bregovic, Shye Ben Tzur
Production: Suzanne Dellal Centre
Running time 30 minutes (extract from the full work Monger)
Entered the repertoire on 30th May 2013 at the Salle des Eaux-Vives, Genève.

"Barak Marshall is a true creator, a mature choreographer with a powerful style and a unique voice. His work is original, powerful, frenzied, carried along by excellent dancers and by an inner momentum and an intelligence which give it a dramatic fluency."
Raphael de Gubernatis, Le Nouvel Observateur, 2nd February 2009

Monger means a merchant or a trader but it also means to peddle, sell or be sold. The work Monger is a kind of tragi-comedy performed at breath-taking speed which shows a society that is dealing with never ending trading and exhausting negotiations where each individual speculates and bargains with their own existence in the process. Whether it's a large or a small compromise that is needed for a society to survive it is ordinary people who are featured here.
The dancers play a group of servants in a house where they are at the beck and call of a demanding and fickle unseen mistress, Mrs Margaret, who is represented by an urgent and unexpected bell, and who governs their actions and movements according to her wishes. This framework gives rise to all sorts of deliciously colourful moments of choreography, using a mixture of music which brings together styles such as Klezmer music, Taraf de Haidouks, Balkan Beat Box, Yiddish songs, Verdi, Terry Hall and Handel, without forgetting the voice of singer Margarlit Oved who is also an actress and the mother of Barak Marshall. The piece's narrative explores hierarchy and submission in all its forms and is drawn from several sources including Jean Genet's play "The Maids", the work of polish author Bruno Schulz and Robert Altman's film,"Gosford Park". By virtue of the choreography, Monger makes perfect sense. Barak Marshall knows how to create movement which conveys meaning without becoming too obvious or stylized. It is in this movement, therefore, where dancers bump, fall and crash into each other and then bounce back, that we can understand the harsh yet tender citicism of humanity at work.