»No matter how much we wander away – our inner conversation with ourselves joins along«
Interview with Oren Lazovski


Aged 16, and having notched up quite a few years of playing the accordion and dancing in different platforms, Oren Lazovski felt he had to choose: either a career as a dancer or in music. He opted for dance, but was to realise, years later, that there was actually another way. This marked the birth of Lazovski’s method, which relies on the The Integrated Instrument idea and views musical instruments as part of the human body, or a direct continuation thereof. The show NO-MAD, set to premier at the ID Festival, brings it to the fore.

»For me, dance and music are like Rubik’s Cube. Two very different means of expression,« Lazovski explains, »leading us eventually to the same spot: to touch our innermost, darkest, and happiest places.«

The seeds of this show were first sown during a 2014 visit to Montreal.

»I was couch-surfing, and it just so happened that my first host was a German bloke who played the accordion. Plus, I found that in Montreal, the municipality encourages musicians to play in metro stations and street corners – it requires no bureaucracy. This is something I’d always had in mind, but never dared to do in Israel or Germany, because it’s like an indignity playing in the street. But when you’re at the other side of the world, it’s a good opportunity to do stuff you’d never do back home.

Oren Lazovski © Sven Dryja

Oren Lazovski © Sven Dryja


So I borrowed my host’s accordion and played for two hours at a station outside his place. It was an amazing experience: people smile at you, communication is so direct. Plus, in Israel, I’d grown up with this sense that accordion was an outdated instrument, while over there, I realised first-hand how it appeals to people. It made me ponder the nomadic side of my life. Being an artist, you’re also inevitably a bit of a nomad as well. I’ve lived in so many places – Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Cyprus… but this experience in Montreal elucidated something about my draw to this idea of nomadic life.«

The next stage was a concept for a collaboration with a video artist, planned to travel between Montreal’s metro stations. But as is often the case, the initial notions underwent several more transformations, before finally taking shape in Berlin, as a special production for the ID Festival. At this point he teamed up with trombonist Tomer Maschkowski, who similarly to musicians attending Lazovski’s workshops, had no previous background in dance.

»We are very different, and I started thinking about opposite duos. I watched lots of Laurel and Hardy movies, spent nights engaging in associative exploration, and finally found Nietzsche’s 1880 Der Wanderer und sein Schatten (The Wanderer and His Shadow).

This book is made up of assorted aphorisms about a wanderer who’s on his way when suddenly his shadow turns up and starts talking to him. I was very much taken by this idea. We all carry a personal story along, it’s the shadow haunting us, and no matter where we moved to or how much we wander away – this inner conversation with ourselves joins along. On the one hand, you turn a new page, but on the other, distance makes you see things another way, and the introspective digging goes far deeper.«

He chose to hyphenate the word ›nomad‹ in two: NO-MAD. »The choice of nomadic life can seem like madness, you hit this road, not knowing where it leads. But even as nomads, we have our personal compass, which leads us even if we can’t always see it.«

To convey the sense of journey and nomadism, it was obvious for Lazovski that the show must also include video. With the help of artists Shiran Eliaserov and Johan Planefeldt, he made a film of roughly 20 minutes, intermittently interwoven in the show, where Maschkowski marches through Berlin with his trombone and Lazovski in tow, as a fiend/shadow. »In the film, I chase Tomer, but on stage, events are more surreal and less clear, and as part of it, I become more vulnerable.«

It just so happens that the show’s premier (23rd October) is scheduled just three days before Lazovski marks a decade since his arrival to Berlin.

NO-MAD  © Guy Landver

NO-MAD © Guy Landver

Do you find NO-MAD to be a farewell party, marking your separation from the shadow of your immigration?

»I don’t think we can separate, even if I wanted to. I belong to this group of people who came back to a country that had spit out our forefathers. It says something about us. Not only do we not wish to break free from our shadow – we embrace it. «

Nevertheless, he admits that missing the family gets to you. »I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t think about going back to Israel occasionally. Berlin is a city marked by transience, at the end of the day. Given a good enough reason – I’ll be out of here.«

What’s keeping you here in the meantime?

»This transience.«


Interview with Oren Lazovski (NO-MAD), prepared by Tal Alon (Editor of the Spitz Magazine Berlin)
You can also find the Hebrew version here: spitzmag.de

Sunday 23 Oct 2016, 16:00 — 17:00, Saal
duration: 60 minutes

Tickets: 14/10 EUR

concept/choreography/film script: Oren Lazovski
performance/trombone: Tomer Maschkowski
films produced by Holytropic
camera: Johan Planefeldt
editing & artistic advice: Shiran Eliaserov
costume: Silvie Naunheim
music: Wagner, Brahms, Bach