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The progressive wave: Interview with Matan Zamir and Gal Naor, the choreographic and theatre-makers duo from Israel who are fascinating the Berlin performative scene by combining dance, performance art, and visual art, along with political and spiritual studies.

They encourage the empowerment of individual identities and the authentic way of personal expression.

dancers from the progressive wave performing a choreography

Zone; Ph by: Irma FS Cadudasa

How was The progressive wave born and how did you choose to be called so?

The progressive wave was born from our mutual wish to unite and create a platform where we can dream, collaborate, and co-create with other creative minds.

The inspiration for the name is coming from our aspiration for progressive and intelligent humankind; as humans, we can either be carried away by a wave or decide to ride on it consciously. With our performances, we encourage radical ways of thinking. Even though we sometimes challenge the spectator to conclude all the different parts, we remain emerging from the same basic principles of Love, Unity, and Peace, while Truth and Beauty are natural fragrances to them, which births our company’s name.

A dancer from the progressive wave during a choreography

Oráculo; Ph by: Ruthe Zuntz

What is your current artistic research based on?

We are preparing now for the third part of our interdisciplinary performance trilogy, 'Science of Signs'. The trilogy is exploring the relations between performance, science, and philosophy. We call this research exploration 'future-humanism' or 'rehearsing the future' as we believe our task is to study all humanity's future probabilities and rehearse the best-case scenarios, where real inclusion and acceptance is a common ground of understanding.

We use improvisation as a strategy to unlearn the habits of the mind. Some of our research questions for our upcoming creation are: when can the personal become political? In which means the 'personal' is linked to the 'universal'?

A scene from the progressive wave show with a dancer performing

Oráculo; Ph by: Ruthe Zuntz

Do you have a main source of creative inspiration?

Ancient wisdom from various traditions inspires us the most, and the new targeted ways of reading the ancient scriptures, the overlaps between the different teachings, and the joy created by imagining their up-to-date stage interpretations. We are also intrigued by the interconnections between the personal and the universe and the links between the spiritual and the political.

On the performative aspect, human beings in general and their specific forms of expression, and our creative performers, in particular, are our main source of inspiration.

We believe everything is made of infinite-consciousness; therefore, we hold everything as inspiration, whether we grasp it through our acknowledgment, perception, or intuition.

Was it difficult to conquer the independent theatre scene in Berlin?

We've been lucky along the way with getting funds and meeting the right partners who could co-produce and present our works. We have no intention to conquer anything. Our only wish is to be able to do the work we do in the best way we can. We trust our approach when working with performers or non-performers, creating together an intense yet joyful experience.

Sharing is caring, and we hope that now, within this challenging Corona era, people will reevaluate their priorities.

A visually stunning scene form the progressive wave show with a gold dancer on the ground

Zone; Ph by: Irma FS Cadudasa

Our wish is to be able to create a space in Berlin that offers a genuine creative meeting point where artists

can get inspired by one another, to allow the independent scene to experience new possibilities to connect, experiment, grow together, or near each other.

A BTS from the progressive wave show

Oráculo; Ph by: Ruthe Zuntz

What do you think the international theatre scene needs today?

We feel that the free international scene needs more thoughtful platforms and spaces, virtual or real, for more authentic interactions and discussions, and for artists to get to know each other and their audience.

The tendency today is to be an independent island that is in a constant survival mode. We feel it is time for established institutions to be more open to collaborations to make some significant steps out of the box.

Sharing is caring, and we hope that now, within this challenging Corona era, people will reevaluate their priorities.

The image of the ‘tortured artist’ should be replaced with a vision of a grandmaster or a shaman who comes to produce and perform white magic and transmit cosmic teachings. We also feel that the true inclusion of special performers in the free scene is still quite missing in the view.

A scene from the progressive wave show lights and vessels

Lights and Vessels; Ph by: Ruthe Zuntz

If you had to choose among your works which one best expresses your poetics? and why?

It is a bit hard to choose, as we feel all of our works share a poetic base, but maybe Science of Signs II: Oráculo is our most poetic piece. In Oráculo, we created a fantastic scenography of a temple made of wood and ropes. Our idea was to create an up-to-date poetical translation of various ancient scriptures to contemporary choreography and visual appearances. The result is a theatrical attempt to describe the indescribable, the fundamental nature of reality. We used written and signed languages, live kinetic and cymatic experiments, and projections on water and knotted rope-object. We see this creation as a silent song to the hidden “I” - the ultimate truth. One of the performers is autistic albino and hard of sight; he plays the role of the high-priest and master of ceremony.

What is the message you would like to leave to your audience?

We want that our audience will leave our shows feeling enthusiastic about finding their access points to the realms of mindfulness, creativity, self-acceptance, self-expression, and acknowledge the strengths we all hold in our minds and hearts.

a still from the progressive wave show "lights and vessels"

Lights and Vessels; Ph by: Ruthe Zuntz

As Israeli artists who come from a place of conflict, where moral questions are rising daily, we also firmly believe that the art of today has the power to change the politics of tomorrow. We want to negotiate our artwork as a

politic-poetic suggestion for the audience to join the discussion about our mutual future as humanity, collectively and mindfully.

Interview and Article by


Photos by

Ruthe Zuntz

Irma FS Cadudasa


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