When Love Walked Out by Ori Lenkinski

                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Nir Segal


I don’t go out dancing anymore.

I used to.

There was a period when I was out dancing pretty often.

Nowadays I may find myself on a dance floor here or there for a few minutes, at a wedding, at a festival, if the spirit truly moves me. But I don’t go out to dance.

There’s that joy, when you’re out dancing, of hearing a song that you like, singing along, seeing others belting out and watching that song charge the bodies around you. There’s that excitement.

I miss that.

Last night, at When Love Walked In by Yossi Berg and Oded Graf, I got to do that.

Last week, in Paris, a question was posed by Donald Hutera during Critical Issues:

“Sometimes I hate contemporary dance. Does it hate me too?”

Here is a piece that loves its audience. That embraces it. That puts you on a green floor under twinkly backyard lights. That looks you in the eye. That winks at you. That may even hold your hand.

It asks you to slow dance in a gym.

It loves you so much it extends the simple pleasure of hearing Wham or Aha or Celine and singing along to you. It invites you to watch bodies moving to the chords that ignite something cheesy in your heart.

It goes farther.

It’s real with you in its love. It gives you three performers (Yossi Berg, Tal Adler Arieli and Ofri Mantel); shy, cunning, charismatic, sharp, dashing, awkward, aging, young, younger. It lets you see them. It lets you see them in their love of dance (love that can be a real bitch).

It harks back to neighborhood dance classes, to Dolly Dinkle studios, to lyrical combinations danced from the depths of fantasy, to dreams of great choreographers (Pina, Bausch!).

It blends between on and off stage. It gives you the choreographic couple, a real couple, for a short moment, in a glimpse of the true love fueling the staged love.

It is cute without trying, it is melodious without being obnoxious, it sings without worrying about  being a singer, it is cool in its complete disregard for cool.

It is a dance party that you don’t have to dress up for, that you don’t have to have any special moves for, that celebrates its wallflowers, that you can walk out of in love.


When Love Walked In by Yossi Berg and Oded Graf was performed at Tmuna Theater on April 12 and 13.