TO “BE” OR NOT TO “BE”?
by Harvey Perr
now playing at the Union Square Theatren
Of the many emotional responses available to us, there is probably none as pleasurable as weeping with joy. After
experiencing the giddily dazzling performance of “Be” the other night, as I was leaving the Union Square Theatre, I found myself doing
exactly that: weeping with joy.
Essentially an exercise in exploring the limitless potential of the human body, through movement and dance, as
practiced by some of the healthiest specimens available under the roof of one theater, “Be” is a production of the Israeli-based
Mayumana (pronounced my-YOO-mah-nah), conceived and directed by Eylon Nuphar and Boaz Berman, the latter being one of the show’s
Since this is not a form of theater I generally warm up to, I would very much like to give a coherent explanation of
my visceral response and find that, unfortunately, I cannot. Was I moved and excited by its precision? By its dexterity? By its
energy? By its sexiness? By its wackiness? By its percussive abilities? By the exuberance of its dancing? By its elegance?
By its sense of fun? By its warmth? By its endless inventiveness? A resounding “Yes!” to all of the above. Put simply, I fell in love
with every single member of the company. And I vaguely remember feeling similarly the first time I saw Cirque du Soleil – long before
they discovered the poetry that could be mined in spectacle – when they were as disarming a band of mountebanks as you could
The audience, which included many children at the performance I attended, seemed to feel the same way; a sense of awe
and amazement permeated the space. I would also add that there was a moment or two that felt a bit too contrived or, rather, that I,
personally, could have done without. And also that, given its remarkable introductory display of precise skills and its ebullience in
moving from section to section, it didn’t really explode in its final moments but rather randomly came to an end. This, however, is
decidedly nit-picking. What I won’t forget is that “Be” made me weep with joy.