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Published on Apr 25, 2010
First commissioned by the Habima Theater for the Israel festival 2008
The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds is a puppet theater piece based on Anski's 'Dybbuk' by Vakhtangov and Hannah Robina, paintings by Chagall together with German expressionism and Hanson's 'Muppet Show'. Using various styles to create tensions, with actors portraying some of the characters and operating as the puppets' visible manipulators, an allegory of the material world dominated by the spiritual word is created. The tension between actor and puppet, manipulator and manipulatee, sheds new light on The Dybbuk. The play confronts the individual with society, free thinking with tradition, and raises important questions under the disguise of a funny puppet show.
This is the story of Leah and Hannan - two lovers torn apart by the bride's father, who marries her to another for his wealth... Heart-broken Hannan dies, and Leah, who cannot bear her life without her love, cries on his grave begging him to return to her from the world of the dead. Hannan's spirit rises, enters her body and haunts her as the dybbuk. The bride is taken to Rabbi Azriel who, after a battle to the death, manages to exorcise the dybbuk from Leah's body. But as his spirit drifts away, she sees no reason to stay on in this world and decides to follow him to the other one. Love triumphs in an extraordinary, poetic and sweeping interpretation of the most famous jewish play.
:A selection of translated reviews:
"Accept no substitutes."The Dybbuk" is as gripping, hair-raising and fulfilling as you can get." - Robert Hurwitt, San-Francisco Chronicle
The play manages to touch the mythical subjects of Anski's immortal play and Vakhtangov's renowned show on one hand, while bringing a fresh, young, mischievous spirit to the stage on the other... The combination of puppets and humans not only brings a humorous, jesting spirit to the familiar story, but also manages to soar to romantic heights at critical moments... A sophisticated parody full of love and yearning to the origin... which rediscovers the old story's primal magic and turns the Dybbuk into a living, moving theatrical reality." - Shai Bar-Yaakov, "Yedioth Ahronoth
"The carefully constructed puppets were amazingly manipulated and swept the audience with them into the happenings on stage... The transitions between actors and puppets, characters and scenes, are completely smooth and enable total submersion... The end where Leah traverses between worlds is no less than extraordinary. It was simply delightful. About 75 minutes with no interval passed quickly and left a desire to watch again." - Maya Eldar - "Kol HaIr" Culture
"A fresh, interesting play... the use of puppets and actors is successful and rich with visual imagination, but also with generous humor. The play reaches its climax with the image of the Dybbuk's exorcism. A splendidly theatrical and complex image. Pleasing to the eye and pleasant with its mischievous spirit." - Elyakim Ron, "Maariv"