Yoanna Blikman and Dan Robert Lahiani are two French artists based in Jerusalem, who have been collaborating together in several video art and live performance projects.
About the project:
KUNG FU is a project initiated by Dan Robert Lahiani, who chose to resurface amateur video footage of Kung Fu competitions from Yoanna Blikman’s childhood in Paris, shot with an 8mm camera by her father. The films show the inside of a Parisian gymnasium, where competitions take place in the presence of prestigious Chinese and French Kung Fu masters.
In present day Israel, Yoanna tries to communicate with these videos. In this attempt to interact with the past, she recollects memories in her body and finds new connections through her dance faculties. The fact that her body has changed from one of a child to one of a woman creates this impossibility of a copy, of a perfect “unison”; marking the beginning of a period of research in a different time and a different country.
While performing, Yoanna interacts with moving portraits of herself at a young age. She edits the footage in live and duplicates moments of herself. She decides of the duration and rhythm of the portraits and creates a mix of live images and sound.
Project framework: collaboration between Machol Shalem and theBezalel Academy of Artand Design(Screen Based Art Department) under the guidance of Sharon Balaban and Ruby Edelman.
Presented during the International Dance Week in Jerusalem, Jerusalem (2015), Experimentica Festival: Secret Language, Chapter, Cardiff, England (2017) Dock 11, Berlin (2017), Neu Now Festival, Amsterdam ( to come in september 2017).
Dramaturgy: Dan Robert Lahiani & Yoanna Blikman
Choreography by: Yoanna Blikman
Dancers\ Performers: Yoanna Blikman
Sound: Dan Robert Lahiani
Video: Dan Robert Lahiani
Length: 30 minutes
Interview by Yuval Saar in the magazine portfolio:
The Sprout, review about the Experimentica Festival, Cardiff:
“Ending the halfway day was Kung Fu a project by both Yoanna Blikman and Dan Robert Lahiani. This marvellous fusion of dance, Kung Fu, photography, home video and live editing may sound daunting, but is a brief and transfixing experience. Yoanna is a terrific dancer, with keen focus on her movement and has a grip on us all in every step she executes. Dan observes her, scouting every move, as old footage of Yoanna as a child is seen at at martial arts competition. Looking like a young Meridith Monk (pony tails and all), she’s wins 1st place, such is her power even then as an artist and athlete. In one hilarious and funky moment, two frames from her victory jump are remixed into a silly dance that she creates live in front of us. This is a special piece and a true highlight of the festival " April 2017. Cardiff, The Sprout
webpage of the piece: http://www.yoannablikman.com/kung-fu
full length video: https://vimeo.com/161342249/eb3ed7f478
Biography of the artists:
Yoanna Blikman and Dan Robert Lahiani are partners in art and in life. They were born in Paris but met in Tel Aviv, Israel. They collaborate in videos and live performance projects.
Born in Paris, Dan Robert Lahiani is a video artist who has lived in Israel for 5 years. After having studied acting in Paris for 4 years (Cours Simon - Cours Florent), he started scientific studies which led him to get a master’s degree in civil engineering ( Lycée Louis Le Grand, Mines de Nancy). He moved to Israel to achieve his first project as an engineer in a solar energy company. His challenge was to develop a system capable to convert grayscale images into temperature maps, thanks to visual range cameras. After two years, he decided to quit his work in order to devote himself to his interest in art, and more specifically to video and photography.
Dan Robert draws his inspiration from familiar and unfamiliar homes that he uses as a starting point. He manages to tell stories in a surrealistic language, melting fiction and documentary. He also puts himself into performative characters, alone or with his partner artist Yoanna Blikman. In 2013, he starts studying at The Bezalel Academy of Art and Design of Jerusalem, in the Screen Based Art department, and continues his path of introspection through video installations (Skyline, 2016), (Le Grand Tour, 2014). One of his works is currently exhibited at The Contemporary Jewish Museum of Art in San Francisco, and others are part of official selections in experimental film festivals in the U.S and in Europe.
Born in Paris in 1989, Yoanna Blikman is a dancer, performer and photographer who has lived in Israel for 9 years. At a young age, Blikman started to learn Kung Fu with the master Chang Xiao Yan. When she became a teenager, she got into photography and started working as a model during experimental photography sessions. Afterwards, she decided to go onto the other side of the camera and worked as a photographer. As she was studying acting in Paris (at Laboratoire de l’Acteur) and in Tel Aviv (Yoram Levinstein), she showed deep interest for movement and body language, which led her to continue her research in the contemporary dance school: the Group in Jaffa. While graduating from a B.A at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, in movement and choreography, she achieved a seminar which explores the fundamental relation between body and language, in a psychoanalytic context. She graduated with a final work called “Body Montage” which is a study on photography and cinema through her body.
In the past years, she has performed her creations in important art centers and festivals such as Dock 11(Berlin), Experimentica Festival, Chapter (Cardiff), the Neu now Festival (Amsterdam) and the Jerusalem International Dance Week.