Oct. 21, 2016 11:09 AM

Israeli choreographer/dancer Ilan Azriel’s Aluminum Show has wowed audiences around the world with its kinetic creativity, high-energy soundtrack, exquisitely mesmerizing, metallic costumes and cutting-edge dancing. The mystery and magic of the show comes to Lafayette at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 25) at the Heymann Performing Arts Center as local arts presenter UpStage’s latest offering. (Click here to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.)

“The Aluminum Show is one of those great instances where we think, ‘How did they come up with that?” says Jackie Lyle, UpStage’s creative director. “This show is fun for everyone. And we do mean everyone. Young. Old. Families. Friends.”

Some of those young, old, families and friends will be out at Parc International tonight (Friday, Oct. 21) for an Aluminum Show Costume Contest during Cowboy Mouth’s Downtown Alive! performance from 6-8:30. There will be prizes for individual and group costumes. Think “Invasion of the Giant Slinkies”

The IND caught up with the show’s creator, Ilan Azriel, via email to find out more about The Aluminum Show (see a preview video below the Q&A):

IND: What can audiences expect at the next Aluminum Show?
Ilan Azriel: This show would take the audience on a magical tour to a different world, a different planet. This is the story of one man’s incredible journey to a parallel universe – a futuristic planet made entirely of aluminum. Aluminum pipes come to life right before the audience’s very eyes, transforming into imaginary, mysterious, and playful characters.

The audience will have a peek to this mysterious world, will meet giant and peculiar creatures, all made of aluminum. They will not just stay on stage … they would reach out and touch the audience in the venue, even those who are in the last rows will get a chance to meet and feel these creatures. This is a unique combination of dancers, wearing the aluminum pipes, giving them life through movement and innovative chirography. But this is not just dancing and movement but also special effects that create this magic on stage.

Ilan Azriel
IND: How has the concept evolved over time? Can you tell us about the genesis of the show? How did it come about? Why aluminum (and not, say, steel)?

IA: It was back in 2002 when Ella Azriel Munk and I had this idea to produce a unique spectacle, based on the personification of industrial materials and entertaining interactions with audiences. We started visiting workshops, factories and technical supply stores but couldn’t find this unique material that would give us the right vibe. One day I was sitting in my studio and when suddenly I noticed a pile of aluminum made materials. It just hit me. This was the material I was looking for all this time. It has so many qualities, movement, shine. It was only natural we chose to call the show “Aluminum”. This is an amazing material and together with the talented performers and the unique lighting of the show – it is truly an exciting visual.

Together with Yuval Kedem, a special effects expert, various methods are used in an attempt to bring the objects to life.

On September 2002 Ella and I held auditions to find the cast performers, some of them dancers, the others physical actors.

It took almost a year to make the dream a reality and The Aluminum Show debuts at the Israel Festival in Jerusalem. Ever since the show had toured worldwide – USA, Russia, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Turkey, Argentina, Spain and many more. On 2015 we decided to update the show. together with Lior Kalfo the director and Ido Tadmor – one of Israel’s leading chirographers. This team of talented people formed the show you are about to see in this coming USA tour.

This new and unique show brings the material, the music and the artists together on stage in a magical, mystery-filled creation combining visual theater, dance, and humor into an exciting the likes of which audiences have never before seen

IND: Is the high-energy music for the show original compositions?
IA: In the new Aluminum show we have chosen to use mostly popular music as it emphasizes and gives more “depth” to the experience. In the original version of the show we used music that was composed especially for the show.

IND: How long does it take dancers to become comfortable in those outfits? (It looks like they’re moving blindly on stage.)

IA: You are right with your observation. The dancers take time to get used to moving inside those tubes. They must have real good sense of space orientation. It’s a practice which takes long weeks before you can reach perfection.

IND: How big is the production in terms of not only dancers/musicians but stage hands etc.?
IA: There are 10 people in the cast – dancers, prop operators, actor. The cast needs to be very accurate and trained. They must have also a good orientation in space as most of the time they are operating inside the material. There are also lots of technical preparations – everything must be coordinated to perfection, we are creating a different world and the magic can’t be interrupted.

IND: What’s next for the producers/creators? Will this thing evolve?
IA: That’s a good question which I often ask myself but the answer is yet unclear, we are not sure how Aluminum Show will look like in 2025. As for the creators and producers, we are all creative people so I am sure we will keep creating, each on his own field and with his own special expertise.

ICYMI:

Introducing The Current