Marathon מרתון



“A brilliant show that touches the core of our existence” – Habama (Israeli publication)

Three figures run in a circle, struggling to continue as they spiral into the depths of Israeli consciousness. As their journey becomes harder and more painful, their stories break down, revealing the wounds of contemporary Israeli society.

Combining dance, text, theatre, and grueling physicality, Marathon uses the autobiographical stories of the performers to reflect a state of constant emergency. Marathon is an exciting, visceral work that depicts the desperate need to hold onto ideas and ideals in an impossibly unstable world. Who will survive? And how?

Marathon premiered at the 2012 Acco Fringe Festival, and has since been performed in Israel, Poland and Germany. Progress presents Marathon’s north American English language premiere. Following Toronto dates, the work will tour to Public Energy (Peterborough), the undercurrents festival (Ottawa), and the Chutzpah Festival (Vancouver).

Marathon is co-presented with The Koffler Centre for the Arts, and generously supported by the Embassy of Israel and the Israeli Consulate (Toronto). Marathon is presented as part of Spotlight on Israeli Culture.

“הצגה מבריקה הנוגעת הישר ללב קיומינו”)-“הבמה”)

שלוש דמויות רצות במעגל, נאבקות להמשיך כאשר הן צונחות למעמקי התודעה הישראלית. בעוד מסען נהיה קשה יותר ויותר ומלא כאב, סיפוריהן מתגלים וחושפים את
פצעי החברה הישראלית העכשווית

בשילוב מחול, טקסט, תנועת גוף אינטנסיבית, ותיאטרון, “מרתון” עושה שימוש בסיפוריהם האישיים של משתתפיו שמביעים הוויה קיומית במצב חירום קבוע

מרתוןן” הינו מחזה מרגש ומטלטל” שמתאר את הצורך הנואש להיצמד”
לרעיונות ואמונות בעולם בלתי יציב להדהים. ומציב את השאלה: מי ישרוד

מרתון” הוצג לראשונה בפסטיבל התיאטרון עכו, ומאז הוצג בישראל”
בפולין ובגרמניה. “פרוגרס” מציג את “מרתון” בבכורתו הצפון האמריקאית
בשפה האנגלית. בהמשך להצגות פברואר בטורונטו, ההצגה תנדוד למקומות הבאים
public energy
the undercurrents festival
the chutzpah! festival
“מרתון” מוצג בשיתוף עם מרכז קופלר לאמניות ונתמך בנדיבות על ידי: “זרקור על תרבו”
.ישראל. שגרירות ישראל וקונסולית ישראל בטורונטו

logosmarathonmarathon logos 2


When I first saw Marathon, I had a visceral response. It is a rabbit hole of a work that takes audiences into the complex trenches of contemporary Israeli psychology. It dives head first into the confusion and tries to work its way to the end of an impossible finish line. It gives us an insight into three Israeli citizens, each doing their best to keep pushing their rock up the mountain. Is there an end to this race, and if so, what does it look like?

I spend a lot of time engaging in stories about Israel. As a Jew, I find myself in conversations about Israel almost daily. I’ve also seen and been in a number of performance works about Israel, the majority of them from the perspective of the diaspora. While many of these works have been strong, I’ve found myself often feeling the absence of a more complex Israeli perspective. 

I understand that this a controversial statement right now. 

There are many, including myself, who are deeply troubled by what is happening in Israel and Palestine. Many would say that the problem is the absence of the Palestinian voice, not Israeli; that the problem is that Palestinians are not a free people. And while this is a perspective that I share and feel strongly about, it has also remained important to me to continue to consider what Israelis are experiencing. 

I believe that Israel is an important place for the Jewish people. I also believe that there are people struggling on both sides of the wall. I believe in the necessity of onextremism, and I also firmly believe that part of getting to this place means presenting a deeply human portrait of Israelis and Israel as well as Palestinians and Palestine. The stories being told in Marathon are a contribution to this larger picture. They are no more or less important than a Palestinian story, but they are a part of the story, and this is why I chose to curate this work. 

Marathon is a uniquely Israeli work that responds to a ubiquitous question: How do we relate to this country amidst such a complicated time? It’s a question many of us are struggling with, and Marathon takes us deep inside of one part of this struggle. It is not an overtly political work, but rather, an existential one; three characters in search of a country, running, literally, to and from the realities of contemporary Israel. The hope is for an empathy that will ground the conversation in an essential humanity. 

The work is created by Aharona Israel, an Israeli artist who, while
living abroad, made the conscious decision to return to Israel. I asked her why she returned, and she explained that she felt she needed to be living in Israel and doing something about the problem, rather than avoiding the situation by living away
from home. This was a sentiment that we bonded on, and it’s also why I made the decision to share her work for the inaugural Progres. This is a piece about me and not me. It’s a piece about you and not you. It is a plea for a better today, for something resembling an end and a beginning. Marathon is a poignant contribution to the Israeli narrative, and I’m pleased to present this exciting new work by a compelling artist.



Israel / ישראל

Aharona Israel / אהרונה ישראל

SummerWorks / סאמרוורקס

Performed in English and Hebrew / באנגלית ובעברית

60 minutes / 60 דקות

Mainspace / במרכז התיאטרון על הבמה המרכזית

Concept / Choreography / Direction: Aharona Israel
Text: Aharona Israel, Asa Wolfson
Actors / Dancers / Vocals: Ilya Domanov, Merav Dagan, Gal Shamai
Music: Udi Berner
Costumes: Liat Ezra
Stage design: Aharona Israel

Wednesday February 4, 7:30pm (performed in English)
Thursday February 5, 7:30pm (performed in Hebrew)
Friday February 6, 7:30pm (performed in English)
All performances with English subtitles.




photo: Doron Oved