Just in case anyone out there was questioning Anti-Semitism’s Viability in today’s 21st century world of multi-culture and open-mindedness, fret no further mein kinder. I’m here to personally testify: It’s alive, well and pirouetting across the stage at a certain London based dance magazine.
Okay so here’s what happened:
A very hip, Tel Aviv-based modern dance company (pictured above)
I recently profiled returned from Manhattan’s Alvin Ailey Theater last week and they’re off to performances in Cuba and North America this Spring. I figure they’re on the up & up. So I pick up the phone to the afore-mentioned magazine editor to pitch the story.
The head of advertising answers and immediately launches into a quiet yet resolute political diatribe upon hearing where the company is based. I’m thinking: WTF? Why is a dance magazine guy talking politics to me? And never mind my interjections on artistic director Sally-Anne’s behalf…that she broke away from apartheid South Africa, that her most recent creation Borders expresses boundary breakdowns both personal and political ..
He tells me that because of the occupation the magazine doesn’t run stories on dance companies based in Israel. He also assures that he is in no way, shape or form racist because he’s a Sikh from Northern India. Gee, I feel better.
He recommends I speak with the magazine editor so I do. She backs his stance. Even further. We don’t allow advertisements or stories from Israel but if we are going to run something, it’s with a statement from the source denouncing the occupation she replies.
So what do you need? I ask. A disclaimer from the artistic director?
I want to know where they get their funding she tells me. If it’s from Israel or from the Israeli government then I can’t run anything on them.
Let me think for a minute. A dance company (i.e. NO MONEY) traveling internationally without government or affiliate sponsorship…It was over before it started.
So I quietly ask this uber fair unbiased person protesting occupation from the comfort of her cushy office suite while simultaneously shutting out artistic attempts at bridging gaps whether she’s been here before.
I’m fully aware of the situation she answers.
But have you been here? …And you know, as did I, what her answer was. I hung up.
I’m against the occupation too, for the record, and want a resolution to the HLC (Holy Land Central) mess more than does the London Dance Lady because I have more at stake.
But we’re talking dance here, folks. And blatant anti-semitism. And ignorance and a dangerous policy that mirrors the very policy its creators wish to abolish.