How the 1998 Mondial changed my life for the better

How the 1998 Mondial changed my life
One person in the audience is worth you giving your best, be ready! Photo by Bertrand-Gabioud on unsplash

In the summer of 1998 


I was performing at a village not far from Jerusalem, in Ramat Raziel, where I lived. It was a strange performance, trapeze combined with Butoh dance. Quite esoteric… A God-forsaken performance in a God-forsaken place, and on top of all that, it was the summer of the 1998 Mondial, and this story is about how that Mondial changed my life.

It was 1998, with no social media; we advertised the show with a pickup truck, a megaphone, and some cheap flyers we printed with money we did not have. This may be the time in the story to introduce the founder of the Museum of the screw, Raffael Lomas. At least at the time, this was the name of the place. 

Raffael Designed the lighting for the show and operated it during that three months season of the summer of 1998. He also went with the pickup truck through Jerusalem and made publicity for it, convincing people one by one that it was worth their while to get out of the city and come see the show. He made quite a good job of it.

It was us against the Mondial 


During these three months of performances, the first month was ok; we had about ten-twenty people in the audience for every Performance. Then the Mondial started, and sometimes no one came; most days, though, there were one or two people in the audience. We considered ourselves lucky. But this went on for a month.

The Performance was physically demanding; it included me coming out of the ground, which meant waiting underneath sand without moving, while the audience came in. It sometimes took a while. I had a straw to breathe with. Then, a dance naked in the sand followed by a trapeze act and a descent into water for a final sequence. On nights when there was one person in the audience, it demanded a lot, mentally and emotionally as well as physically. 

Not only was I disappointed that no one came, but I also had no power to perform, mostly mentally and emotionally distraught. One day I complained to Raffael that no one was coming; we might as well cancel the whole month of shows.

He gave me a strange look and said, we cannot cancel. If there is but one person in the audience that took the trouble to get out of town to see the show, it’s our responsibility to perform, and you, my dear, have to find the power within you to give your best performance, even if it’s only for one person. 

Guess who won 

I went out there every night after that, thinking about what Raffael said, and gave my best Performance. Something magical happened when I managed to find it in me to go out there and do it as best I could; not only did I see more and more power and new ways to be in the Performance itself, new layers and profundities I did not imagine when we were in creation. But more and more people came.
Finally, the Mondial was over. People in Jerusalem heard about this fantastic event out of town and came. During the last month of performances, there were between 80 and 200 people in the audience each night. 
Many years later, quite a few people who came to see that show told me they’d been there and that it changed their lives. Little did they know that it changed mine too.
It became that mythological show, that one event, that people remembered because they’d never seen anything like it before or since. Years later, when I met these people, they could remind me who I was for them and how important it was that I found the power within to be there at my best. 

Optimal Performance – a new definition


In 1998, I was a young performer with a lot still in front of me. I’ve been performing on the trapeze since a few years earlier, but never with a solo performance like this that demanded so much of me. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

That Performance was entitled “For life and for death,” and it marked the beginning of my exploration into the many layers of Optimal Performance. It meant I had to be ready, no matter the circumstances. It meant I had to prepare myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for any eventuality. That performance and the 1998 Mondial, the lesson it taught me was never forgotten. In fact it marked the next 24 years of my professional career.

Optimal Performance is then, in this new definition, the art, and science of being ready. Ready to perform at your best whenever you are required to do so. Ready to be your best for your mission in life, whatever it may be, and whenever. Because if there is one person in the audience, you must be your best and give your all. You never know what that person will take from that encounter.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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One Comment

  • Eviatar Nevo

    Life is an ongoing challenge especially when you approach 94. I admire your helping me to overcome both my physical and emotional challenges. I especially admire your resilience and persistance ,as usualy today, helping me to overcome my handicaps, especially the physical ones since my spiritual challenges are constantly booming. I look forward to these delightful Fridays when your name Orit is my best reality, and your visits highlight my later life years with big sunshine . This Big light becomes a sacred fantastic gift helping me to uplift my physical handicaps and keep my spiritual aspirations uplifted. I know I repeat myself but I honestly express my deepest feelings and this is the bare truth. My deepest gratitude for these sacred Fridays. Honestly you are now the biggest gift and light of my life . I cherish these wounderful Fridays to the utmost. Words are dull to express my gratefulness. I deeply love you for lighting my later years with big sunshine. Regardless of repeating myself this big sunshine makes you a giant Or rather than Orit. My deepest love and gratefull thanks for this big light lighting my later life period.

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