Meet Fellow Doran Perk
Doran’s COVID=19 Haiku:
I took the virus
I also gave the virus
Winter snow again
Doron Perk studied in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Israel and received scholarships from The America – Israel Cultural foundation during the years 2003-2008. Between 2008 and 2015, Doron danced in The Croatian National Theatre Ballet (HNK) in Split, The National Dance Company of Spain (CND) in Madrid, and The Batsheva Ensemble – The Young Company in Tel Aviv.
He received the Excellent Artist grant from the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and two consecutive O1 – Extraordinary Ability in the Arts visa from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Doron has been a Gaga Movement teacher since 2015 and a dancer in ZviDance since 2016. He was listed in “Best Performers of 2016” by Dance Magazine for his work with choreographer Zvi Gotheiner and is the recipient of a Cultural Export grant from the Young Creators Foundation of the Israeli Ministry of Culture for his collaboration with pianist Danielle Friedman in the summer of 2019.
Doron performed his solo work in New York City and Mexico City. His multi-disciplinary collaborations took stages in New York City, Berlin, New Orleans, Tel Aviv, London, Bern, Edinburgh, Thessaloniki, and AEJAA (an online platform). Doron keeps creating dance, alone or in collaboration, furthering the research, improving the abilities, and expanding the reach.
My project is a solo dance performance that has been in process for about a year. The piece is titled Grandfather Visit and is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Prof. Kalman Perk, who passed away two years ago. The hour-long show tells the story of me visiting him as I regularly did for the last five or so years of his life.
He is a Holocaust survivor, the sole survivor of his entire family, and he had an incredible life. The work shares my perspective of his life story and how it affects me as his descendant.
The ongoing visits took shape as we would always take the same spots on the sofas and talk about the same things for the same amount of time. I borrowed some elements such as the way he used to sit, memorable repeated phrases, and favorite pieces of music to create a version of the visit that feels familiar to me yet not specific to one encounter.
The stories are abstracted. The memories of the visits blend and merge to create a new kind of testimony. The staging includes an empty chair and a coffee table alongside the dance floor. This scene creates a feeling that is personal to me but also, I believe, universal to anyone who had an aging person in their lives.
I use my moving body as a vessel for this feeling. The realities of the former life are beyond direct explanations, but they do exist in my body. While I dance, I recreate the sensations I remember having while sitting together. It is an unspoken experience of loss and love, heritage and respect, self-discovery, and longing to belong, all facing the impossibility of accepting evil while wanting to live a happy life.
What is a surprising choice you made this year?
I don’t know if I was surprised by any of my choices this past year. Everything I did seem to make sense in the moment as well as in retrospect. I feel that this new world we have all been thrown into, leaves us not much room for surprising or reinventing. I felt that I was trying to stay true to myself, whatever that could mean, while everything else was changing relentlessly. I did more of the same things I was doing before. Probably with more time and care to listen, but nothing surprising.