Saar Harari

Choreographer Saar Harari trained as a dancer in Israel until the age of 18 when he began his compulsory military service with the Israeli Defense Forces, eventually becoming a commanding officer of a special combat unit. Upon returning to civilian life he resumed his career as a dancer. Herd of Bulls uses the movement vocabulary of the military to inform this intense, muscular and visceral performance. On a bare stage with minimal sound, four dancers physicalize the internal struggle between love and violence of a soldier during conflict. Playing through October 23rd at P.S. 122, this piece should not be missed.

How did being in the military change your awareness of your body?

Well first of all because of the training. You know, the training is very physical. You have to be very aware of your body in order to survive in battle because the body knows the best in battle time or during the practice of. So it is something you need to do in order to be a good soldier. You don�t have any choice.

You chose to stay in the military after your mandatory service to become a commanding officer. What made you choose to return to civilian life?

I fell in love. Everything immediately changed. I think it�s very hard to be a combat warrior and to have feelings at the same time because when you�re a warrior you�re not thinking. You�re not really afraid to die. You are just doing your missions. And then when you fall in love and your heart starts to be involved in your daily life..then the picture is just different. So.

At the time it was an amazing experience. Its funny to say it but in a good way because I believed in what I did and I thought I am serving my country which now that I am more adult I know that its�your just serving politicians and stuff it�s not really, you�re not saving anyone. But when I was there, yeah. That�s what you believe. You�re young. You have kind of a brainwash. Since the moment you were born. So when I did it I really believed in what I did and it was, you know. When you killed the bad ones you felt good. Now I feel stupid. But then I felt good.

What aspects of the movement in HERD OF BULLS are drawn from your military experience?

Well first of all it�s not just the movement. It�s�well, there are a lot of movements that are taken from working with different kinds of weapons and it�s very physical. In order to shoot good you have to be very strong and very physical. And a lot of things is the intensity from the battle. It�s in the piece all the time. This continuing struggle. It is a continuing struggle, physical and mental and this energy, you know this exploding energy when you are a warrior and you need to attack it has to be�you have to explode. You can�t be soft and you can�t be� although there are�I think there are many soft movements or parts in the piece. Part of them are because you have to be soft in order to get somewhere quietly. So you have to be very soft to get there so that no one will hear you. Otherwise, you can�t do your thing. So I think its this combination of softness and exploding and how you transform from one to another.

How did you find your collaborators?

How did you find your collaborators?

I saw them perform and I just invited them to work with me. It was hard to find dancers that could connect to the physicality because its not movement that you see in modern dance classes. So it was hard but I found them and I�m very happy.

What’s next for you?

Another piece. It will be something with women. Just women. Me and probably around four women. So I think it will be different.

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