Garinim was created for the 2003 Akko Festival for fringe theater. It uses the atom bomb dropped on Japan in the world war as a modern-mythical metaphor to violence in general, particularly master/slave (conqueror/conquered) relations. The stage becomes a violent space dominated by three Americans, opposed by a Japanese group. Between them a choir refrains from taking sides, and leaves the judging to the audience (if at all).
The cast consists of 3 groups: Americans (3), Japanese (5), Chorus (5).
Americans: Images and texts from “Dead end kids” by JoAnne Akalaitis with the Mabou mines theater (USA, 1982). Behind the scene of the Atomic weapon industry: Scientists, generals, communication and propaganda experts, publicists and other star spangled characters. They are polished, educated and self aware, taking us on a cynical horror journey inside the guts of the post-war American imperialism. Akalaitis sought some explanation of this obsessive quest of power and greatness, which brought about the development of this horrible weapon.
Japanese: Excerpts from real testimonials of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors, arranged and translated into dance and symbolic visual representations; working out the physical memories and their mental counterpart: pain.
Act I: Americans and Japanese before the bomb. The act ends with the bomb dropped.
Act II: The consequences: Japanese experiencing the devastating effects, while the Americans, who momentarily show remorse, verbally argue to justify their action.
Music: A collage of auditory expressions ranging from computer generated signals to Mendelson choral in 8 voices
The Best Play Award of the 2003 Akko Festival for fringe theater.
The Most Promising Artist Award from America-Israel Fund and Tmuna Theater
Awards for Best Lighting, and Artistic Design, Best original Musical Score and Direction
"The best play in the Festival has presented a disturbing, threatening, apocalyptic world, with artistic components merged into an influential, fascinating theatrical tapestry."
(from panel of judges' arguments)
From the Press
"The play's power resides in the formal theatrical language. In the majestic fusion between the arts of theater, dance, poetry and music…These realms penetrate each other in a harmonic defusion an rare beauty. Together they create something new – a visual language of unique volume reminiscent of modern German theater. A director with great dramatic talent, rare aesthetic sense and intuition, eagerness to create and leadership capable of leading a devoted cast."
(Lilach Dekel, "Habama")
Through a collage of documentary-poetical texts, and many dynamic images coupled with a fascinating musical environment, the director makes us look at the consequences of inventing the nuclear bomb, without regressing into a banal discussion. A unique and coherent play, which produces an impressive theatrical experience."
(Shai Bar-Yaakov, "Yediot Aharonot")
"Ashbel and company have reached the top… Garinim is a work of a tight theatrical group. Its members work together enthusiastically, with artistic joy and utter dedication. The play operates simultaneously an several levels and theatrical tools: visual images, poetic texts, voices, light, and motion, all with good taste and a sense of measure. The five singers of'Givol' choir, whose singing voice fit perfectly in the sophisticated and precise musical score, helped jolt the audience between theatrocious and the sublime."
(Igal Amitai, "Kol-Bo")
"From the first minute it was clear that Garinim is in a league of its own… Ashbel's offers us an experience representing an entire scope of human emotion – fear, fright and shock alongside charm, humor and bliss… An excellent cast of actors and dancers turns Ashbel's vision into fascinating and precise theater, sometimes even breathtaking. Garinim makes a significant statement on violence and power games, on victims and sacrifice, on the magic of technology and price of obedience – It is utterly relevant to the Israeli condition, 2003."
(Eitan Bar-Yosef, "Hair")