Then again, Mr. Shechter, whose “Political Mother” opens at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Thursday, is full of contradictions. A pianist who became a dancer who became a drummer who became a choreographer. An apolitical Israeli who makes pieces packed with military formations and tribal rites. A loner who loves group energy.
Many of those oppositions can be seen in “Political Mother,” which sets 13 dancers and 8 musicians onstage in a hard-driving enactment of group brutality and camaraderie, subservience and domination, abandon and fear. Judith Mackrell, writing in the Guardian newspaper after a 2010 premiere at the Brighton Dome, where Mr. Shechter’s company is now in residence, called it “a work of galvanizing, challenging power.”
Mr. Shechter’s rise to dance world stardom in Britain was a rapid one. His first piece, “Fragments,” created in an empty church hall in 2003, led to his appointment as an associate artist at the Place, London’s breeding ground for new dance. A few works later, he thrilled the British critics with “Uprising” (2006), following it the next year with the even more acclaimed “In Your Rooms.”
“There was suddenly an important new voice” said Alistair Spalding, the director of Sadler’s Wells, where Mr. Shechter has been an associate artist since 2007. “I think it’s not just the choreography, it’s his dominance of the stage. He works more like a filmmaker in a way, telling you what you should be looking at when. He composes the music. He is brilliant at structure. And his choreographic style is very organic and somehow doesn’t feel too far away from the way we might move if we had a chance.”
Mr. Shechter’s success is not, however, the fruit of a longstanding ambition to be a choreographer.
Luke Jennings, the dance critic for The Observer, said in a telephone interview, “One of the first things that Hofesh ever said to me was that basically, contemporary dance was boring.” Mr. Jennings added: “But what he produced with ‘In Your Rooms’ was absolutely not boring. I think that came from growing up in Israel and the way the boundaries between state and family spill over into each other. A lot of his work has been born of resentment towards that.”