Relix Israel Bureau Chief Justin Jacobs just handed in this review of a Medeski Martin & Wood show from late April.
Medeski, Martin and Wood
Tel Aviv, Israel
Avant-jazz trio Medeski Martin and Wood play music that fits Tel Aviv well: steady-grooving, late night funk without going over the top; the pure definition of easy flowing, laid back cool. In a city where no one goes to dinner until 11, sidewalk cafes are constantly overflowing and the beach is always full, it’s no surprise that MMW’s show at Tel Aviv’s Barby club hit the sweet spot for the city’s thriving hippie/hipster crowd.
But that said, the show was slow to heat up. Hitting the stage just before 11, keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood slid into unhurried jazz jams without speaking to the varied crowd, consisting largely of secular Tel Avivis and the occasional religious Israeli, clad in tie-dye and traditional head-coverings and prayer shawls. Continue reading
When Gilles Chuyen landed in India in 1994, his mission was clear: research the country’s caste system to work toward a PhD related to cultural issues. Born in Toulon, in the south of France, Chuyen had long been interested in Eastern religious traditions, and he sought to understand how the Hindu Brahmin priest class adapted to contemporary Indian society. It was heavy work, so it only made sense that Chuyen needed a way to unwind. And he found it in Chhau Mayurbhani, a form of Indian dance.
Seventeen years later, 41-year-old Chuyen travels the world leading workshops in Indian dance – specifically Bollywood – in between stints of choreographing and acting in Indian films, working on internationally touring dance shows and performing with his own dance troupe. On May 2 and 3, he’ll bring his Bollywood workshop to Israel, teaching in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as part of the Indian embassy’s second annual “Celebrating India in Israel” festival, which also includes events showcasing Indian food, film, music, yoga and theater.
So how did a French researcher become one of the world’s leading teachers of Indian dance? A long, long history of rhythm was certainly a start.
“My mother tells me I was always dancing, from before I could walk,” laughs Chuyen in a phone conversation from his home in New Delhi. Continue reading