Developed in the US and Poland with artists from both countries, Tov features a live vocal score created by acclaimed Polish theater group Stowarzyszenie Teatralne CHOREA (CHOREA Theatre Association). Tov premiered with a bi-national cast at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater in 2010.
Deftly weaving together intense physical movement, spoken word, vocal music, and the "theater laboratory" ensemble techniques originated by Jerzy Grotowski, Rosanna Gamson stages a profusely evocative dance drama around the story of the tarpan horse--an extinct species of Eurasian wild horse that was genetically "reassembled" in the 1930s through back-breeding of domestic horses. The Los Angeles choreographer braids this allegory of regeneration with reflections on the history of her own Polish-Jewish ancestors, horse traders from Szczecin, and the fate of Polish Jewry. Tov takes its title from "Gamzu l'tovah" ("This too is for the good"), a favorite saying of one of Gamson's forebears, Talmudic scholar Nachum ish Gamzu, who found God's hand even in tragedy. The full-evening work features a cast of performers from Poland and the U.S., with text spoken and sung in Hebrew, Polish, English, Yiddish, Bulgarian and German.
“Tov,” Rosanna Gamson’s full-evening dance-theater production named for the simple Hebrew word for “good,” exuded the powerful feeling that an artist had kicked up her game. A confident choreographer deploying a full theatrical toolbox of movement, music, words and props for eight performances in REDCAT’s black box theater had arrived." –Debra Levine, Los Angeles Times