Monday, December 13, 2010

ON THE SPOT with Roy Ofer and Boaz Berman

Next up, exclusive interviews with Mayumana co-founders Roy Ofer and Boaz Berman. Mayumana's newest show Momentum, opened at The New Victory Theater last week!

New Victory: Where did you grow up?
Roy Ofer: I grow up in a little village in Israel. My family was one of the founding families of the village (more than 30 years ago); as a child it was a very exciting period for me. This way of living in Israel is called "moshav;" it is somewhere between a normal village and a "kibbutz" (especially the community life).
Boaz Berman: I grew up in Tel Aviv.

NV: Favorite hometown tradition?
RO: Every year, the whole village celebrates the anniversary of the Moshav [by] doing different activities and having a big party, it’s at that moment when it feels like a big family.

NV: Favorite hometown food?
RO: Watermelon. Also, eating Jajnon (a traditional Yemeni food that is very common in Israel) in the winter next to the beach in Tel Aviv.
BB: Humus and local fruits and vegetables

NV: Favorite hometown haunt?
RO: Once a year during summer break, all the kids go together to a summer camp organized by the Moshav. The older kids start building the camp and day by day all other age groups join them in different fun activities.
BB: The beach.

NV: Favorite NYC haunt?
BB: Chinatown


NV: When you travel, what do you miss most about home?
RO: Apart from my wife and daughter I mostly miss the feeling of Friday afternoon in Tel Aviv, when everything (buses, cars, shops) just disappears. Everything calms down in a magical way and the weekend starts.
BB: The sea and the food

NV: Favorite family activity?
RO: Friday dinner with all the family
BB: Early morning swimming in the ocean

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a spectator?
RO: First time I saw Pina Bausch on stage, amazing
BB: Miles Davis and Pina Bausch

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a director/performer?
RO: The first time we performed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, [it was]during the big crisis Argentina suffered in the early years of 2000. The audience was so emotional and enthusiastic that to this day I get goose bumps when I remember...with more than 3,000 spectators we had a spontaneous party in the street in front of the theater.
BB: The first Mayumana show because I was a director and performer.

NV: If you weren't in theater, what would you want to do with your life?
RO: Probably doing movies
BB: Composer

NV: Favorite saying or slang term?
RO: "Always stay positive."

NV: Something interesting/unique others may not know about you?
RO: I love to fly, sky dive, bungee jump or anything else that gives me the sensation of flying.
BB: I’m a diving instructor, skipper and surfer.

NV: Do you do anything else to earn a living?
RO: 100% devoted for Mayumana

NV: What is your educational background? Training background?
RO: I studied cinema and television. Then I started working in the television industry, from a camera assistant to lighting designer, slowly learning the different skills; later on I took a job working in the theater world and fell in love with this medium.
BB: Industrial design, music, percussion and martial arts.

NV: What is your cultural heritage? Has it influenced your work, and if so, how?
RO: Israel and Tel Aviv especially is a melting pot of many cultures and influences, Western and Eastern flavors, music and dance are all mixed in the daily reality. This together with a multi-national cast adds to and influences our work.
BB: It’s a special mix of East and West. It’s the local blend of Tel Aviv that influences me in the music and rhythms I create.

NV: Which 3 people have influenced you the most?
RO: It’s hard for me to scale down to only three people, I try to learn from the people around me.

NV: Why do you like performing at the New Vic?
RO: We never performed there before but from what we saw while visiting the venue it’s a gorgeous theater with a lot of possibilities to make special installations. The show has a lot of new technologies specially made for this production and this theater allows us to show them all and even add some surprises only for the audience in the New Vic…
BB: Because I love New York.

Thanks, Roy and Boaz! Come on out for MOMENTUM and see in person what they're talking about - watch the trailer here.

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