LeeSaar The Company



Described by The New York Times as never less than remarkable to watch, LeeSaar The Company is the artistic composite of director/writer Lee Sher and dancer/choreographer Saar Harari. The pair joined the Israeli military at age 18, as is required of all citizens. After their service, both entered upon a life in the performing arts, bringing their intense focus and drive along with them, eventually establishing LeeSaar The Company in 2000. In 2004, the pair arrived in New York City armed with little else but an immense talent and even greater determination. The company is a reflection of an internationally rich and diverse background, with dancers from Taiwan, Korea, the United States, Malaysia, Canada, and Israel. They look glamorously at home in the company style, striking even when standing still, The New York Times says of the dancers. By 2005, the duo had so impressed the arts establishment that they were awarded American green cards for excellence in the performing arts. Since then, they have blown away both critics and audiences alike with each new work.

WORKS

Princess Crocodile

Understanding girlhood is like dissecting a chrysanthemum without tearing the petals and snapping the stem - it's a complex and fragile process - that grapples with the idiosyncrasy and volatility of female fantasies and dreams. In Princess Crocodile, dancers reveal exactly that - the indefinite experience of becoming a woman, which draws on the constant wavering between self-loathing and self-loving, between feeling like a royal princess in one moment and in the next, an hideous, atrocious crocodile. It is a phenomenon that women of all ages are familiar with, yet the piece portrays its themes through a choreography that stirs erratic reactions from its audiences. The piece will at first, set a calm mood to harvest total ease at times, and yet in alternating scene, audiences will be astonished at the shocking movements of the dancers' bodies and grungy quirks of their facial expressions.

Lee Sher and Saar Harari build and draw from Gaga dance movement to collaborate with their dancers to create their works. They established this connection by giving the dancers "keys" to get deeper into their selves, so that the dancers continue their physical research daily. Each audience member develops their own nuanced relationship with the subject of adolescence while viewing Princess Crocodile. To some, the piece might speak to self-acceptance and confidence, while to others it might be the discovery of the balance between harmony and dissension with oneself. The piece creates an intricate vision of female psychology.

grass and jackals
Lee Sher and Saar Harari experienced life amid extreme conditions, collectively living through four wars and six years of military service. Their newest work emerges from four years of researching how to transfer these extremes to the stage.This new work will be a collaboration with the lighting artist, Bueno Avi-Yona (Bambi) and will feature LeeSaar’s eight creating dancers directed by Sher and Harari. "grass and jackals" will be a dance piece and a light spectacle that constantly pushes the physical and emotional boundaries of both the performers and the viewers. The piece will move from one climax to the next, featuring music that creates an atmosphere of an unknown terrain. A complex and inventive movement language will be set within a choreographic structure that constantly shifts, exploring the connections between feelings and bodies in space. "grass and jackals" will exist as a chain of climaxes supported by the lighting, the musical score, the movement vocabulary and the composition. These climaxes will be silent, violent, intimate, wild, exposed, lonely, and will showcase extraordinary abilities. Through four years of questioning and researching the use of the extreme as a tool, it is time to make it the center of the process and creation.

FAME
In another recent work, FAME, seven performers strive to reach moments of fame as viewed through numerous pop culture filters and reference points. Utilizing an extremely physical and sensual performance style, truths are told and fragile secrets revealed as the audience strives to interpret the difference between what is seen… and what is perceived. According to Sher, “Every person who wants to be famous, first of all wanted to be loved”. Even the word itself - "Fame" - conjures up mental images of false realities, without exploring the unintended consequences of reaching for the stars. Deboral Jowitt of ARTS JOURNAL writes of the work; fascinating choreography, with exceptional group of performers, that unfolds as a collage of images that layer ambition, embarrassment, fear of failure, pain, desire to please, need for love, and more. These people are powerful and delicate, grotesque and gorgeous, and you can’t take your eyes off them. The work was comisioned by Peak Performances at Montclair State University.

LeeSaar the Company is active eleven months a year, five days a week. We invest daily in the development of our movement language and in the creative tools we employ to train our dancers. This, we believe, is the core of our work. This level of dedication enables us to put the dancer in the center of our creation. It allows the dancers freedom to reveal themselves on stage; to become not just interpreters, but inventors. It helps us to present ourselves with no barriers, says Sher and Harari.

Much of LeeSaar's process influenced by the Gaga movement language developed by Ohad Naharin, Artistic Director of the Israeli dance company Batsheva. The goal is to weave this heightened physicality with the light show in order to add other dimensions to the work, to highlight emotional extremes, and to create a multi-sensory experience. Sher and Harari and their company lead the Gaga activities in the US, as well as teach master classes for dancers and people in most of their touring.
 
Chris Duggan

photo by:
Chris Duggan
grass and jackals

FAME

Chris Duggan

photo by:
Chris Duggan
grass and jackals

Chris Duggan

photo by:
Chris Duggan
grass and jackals

Chris Duggan

photo by:
Chris Duggan
grass and jackals