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Friday, October 24, 2014

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Zvi Sahar of Salt of the Earth

Zvi Sahar is an actor, director, and puppeteer living and working in Israel. He comes to the BAM Fisher Oct 28—Nov 1 with Salt of the Earth, a story told with puppetry and hand-painted miniature sets combined with live film-making, projected video, and a thousand pounds of salt. Sahar’s creative company, PuppetCinema, investigates the relationship between puppetry and live-action film-making.

Which artist do you admire from a field other than your own?
David Bowie, William Kentridge, Quay brothers.

Which artist do you steal from most often?
Ayah, my 3 year old daughter

Any advice you've gotten and ignored?
“Don’t touch that!”

What's the biggest risk you've taken?
Left an active career as an actor in Israel and came to NYC for three years to explore puppetry. Those were probably the most productive and interesting years I've spent as an artist in my career. Scary as hell, but worth it. The next biggest risk was moving back to Israel.

What food are you looking forward to eating while in Brooklyn?
Ribs at Fette Sau, and a lemon tart and coffee at Colson Patisserie in Park Slope.

What ritual or superstition do you have on performance days?
I used to have a few... Today, I have none and feel much more free. So I guess...having no ritual is my ritual.

What inspired you to create Salt of the Earth?
One day my wife, Daphna, came home with a small blue book and said: “You have to read this.” The book was The Road to Ein Harod and, in a way, I’ve been reading it for the last two years.

Do you imagine the experience of presenting Salt of the Earth in New York will be different from presenting in Israel?
I guess the most significant difference is performing to an audience who has more distance from the story. I’m very curious to see what interpretations people will have in NYC.

How was PuppetCinema formed?
A dinner at my parents house. My mom made sunny-side up eggs and my dad was fixing an old radio. Bringing these materials together (eggs and electronic parts) was the very beginning of PuppetCinema's first show, Planet Egg (which is still running in different festivals around the world). The artistic language of PuppetCinema has developed since that meal, but it’s still very much about interesting encounters of different materials, different media... and trying to bring a synergy to the table… and ensuring that each aspect of the show tells a part of the story and supports it. It all comes together into a good story at the end.

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