From Tel Aviv, Israel comes Mayumana (which means skilled in Hebrew), touted as a sensational and high energy one-stop-shop performance. Before the opening night of the company’s self titled show, Anna Lozynski caught up with co-founder and producer of 13 years, Roy Ofer.
1. Other than skill, what makes you passionate about Mayumana?
I am passionate about the whole organisation, not just the show itself, as well as the prospect of being creative in every aspect possible. I get to do what I love and am given the freedom to think laterally.
2. What is your favourite scene from the show as it will be performed in Australia?
We research each country in which we perform and prepare something special and different as part of the performance. It’s always nice to see the surprise on people’s faces when we perform the number.
3. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with 10 performers, with differing nationalities?
There are 32 different nationalities in the company. Being able to work with people from all around the world is rewarding in that one is able to draw on the strong influences and flavours from each member. This in turn has a rich effect on the growth of the creative process.
4. Describe a usual rehearsal day.
While on tour, the artists arrive about 3 to 4 hours before a performance to warm up, rehearse and prepare. After the show, the performers stretch. Apart from that, they attend weekly Pilates and drumming classes.
5. The ensemble is 13 years in the making. Recently, the ensemble has undergone a reorganisation under your direction. What led to this decision?
Over a relatively short period of time, we have gone from being a smaller “family like” company with 15 members to an international company with more than 100 members touring the world with several companies simultaneously. The reorganisation was essential in order to achieve the administrative structure and professional level needed, while maintaining the artistic values, family feel and goals of the company.
6. How do you see the Mayumana concept evolving in future?
We are working in several directions. Professionally, we have just premiered a new show called “Momentum” that is performing both at our home theatre in Tel Aviv. We are working on several new creations for 2010, including a special show for kids in collaboration with another international company.
On the educational side, we are investing a lot of energy in the development of the foundation we have established during the past year in which we promote social and educational projects for various disadvantaged sectors of the population, to promote and rehabilitate individuals.
7. From a professional perspective, what is advantageous about the group having its headquarters in Tel Aviv?
Our roots are in Tel Aviv. It is “home” for a number of reasons. The management is based there, and for the last 11 years, it is where our theatre is located, including rehearsal rooms. The administrative base is in Europe, providing assistance with the day-to-day tasks.
8. What have you learned most from your long standing collaboration with co-founders, Boaz Berman and Eylon Nuphar?
Personally, I have learned a lot about myself thanks to Boaz and Eylon. We have worked together very closely for many years, and our experiences have made me grow as a person. Professionally, they each surprise me with their own unique and different perspective. Invariably, they will add another angle and dimension to a situation. In a way, the three of us bring a sort of a “three dimensional” view that helps Mayumana develop and evolve.
9. How do your qualifications in television and film production influence your work as a producer?
I worked in many productions and with various producers before Mayumana. Those experiences have underlined the importance of team work. This has had a strong influence on my approach.
10. What do you know now that you wish you had discovered at the beginning of your career?
I believe that everything happens for a reason and at its due time. In hindsight, I feel that both the difficult moments as well as the better ones have and still are guiding me in my journey. Along the way, I have made both good and bad decisions, but this is par for the course. I wouldn’t do it any other way.
11. What is the first thing you do when you arrive in a new country while on tour?
Usually, I visit a new country several times before a tour. During these visits I try to gather as much information about the country as possible, meet with different possible partners, understand the local acts and the mentality of the people. I aim to eat my first meal in a typical restaurant where only local people eat, and feel the vibe while tasting the local delicacies.
12. Finally, tell us one thing people are always surprised to hear about you.
That I have never performed in Mayumana.
the Arts Centre presents
Created and Directed by Eylon Nuphar & Boaz Berman
Venue: the Arts Centre, State Theatre (Five performances only!)
Dates/Times: Wednesday 22 July to Saturday 25 July 2009, 8pm, 2pm Sat matinee
Tickets: $79 - $49.00
FAMILY OF 4 (2 Children under 16 $149.00
Duration: 80 minutes (plus 10 minute post-show jam session in State Theatre Lobby)
theartscentre.com.au *, 1300 136 166*, the Arts Centre Box Office or Ticketmaster outlets.
*transaction fee applies
Top Right - Roy Ofer
Bottom Right - Mayumana