Ilan Amit – 23 years of working together
By Assi Ben-Porat.
Our work together began on the 3rd of March 1990, about seven or eight years after Ilan went blind. He was 55 years old when he began to study Tai Chi; the movements of which he was only slightly familiar with and had never seen. This was quite a challenge for both student and teacher, a challenge that continued for over 23 years. In retrospect, I think that neither Ilan nor I expected that our work together would continue over so many years.
Tai Chi in the Dark
By Illy Berr. Alternative-Life magazine June 2007. www.altlife.co.il
For 17 years they have been meeting once a week for a lesson in the art of Tai Chi Chuan. The teacher Assi Ben-Porat has already managed to teach Ilan Amit a wide range of exercises including Chi Kung, Tai Chi Form, Sword form, partner work (Joining Hands) and more. The fact that Amit is blind they forgot long ago. In a joint interview they told me about the mutual learning process they went through, about the love of movement and about freedom within limitations.
March 1990 - February 2013,
23 years of working together.
Assi Ben-Porat and the late Dr. Ilan Amit (1935 - 2013)
Wu Chi to play guitar blind student Dr.Ilan Amit
High pat on horse Blind student Dr.Ilan Amit
Sword form Blind student Dr.Ilan Amit
Blown Away Music by Assi Ben-porat.
The story begins with the Brixton Uprising in April 1981. A young man, Tony (www.creationmythpuppets.co.uk), was deeply affected by that event He penned the words to this song , originally called Market Town. The words parallel the anger and oppression that exploded thirty-five years ago on Railton Road, the birth of anew child and the love in a relationship. Tony’s friend , Assi (www.arttaichi.com ) who lived next door on the hill above Brixton, said he would like to put the words to music. So early in that June the song was recorded onto a tape recorder. Assi moved back to Israel and Tony moved to Devon and many years passed (33). The tape got lost but the two friends stayed in touch. One day Assi got in contact with Tony and asked if he still had the lyrics because he had the notion to put those words to music once again. And that’s what Assi did. Meanwhile Tony, Inspired by the memories of those far off days, scribed a new chorus and the song got a new name. Then Tony and Assi enlisted the help of two amazing and talented musician friends :Pete Josef (www.petejosef.com) and Ivan Hussey (www.celloman.co.uk ). Their generous contributions lifted the song and conjured another level from the original material. What to do with a song forged over 33 years? We decided that the best route forward was to get a video made. Another generous and talented friend helped, Karen Abadie (www.karenabadie.wix.com/karenabadie#!commissioned-films/c14vv ) . So this is a story about enduring friendship, the miracle of birth, lasting love and the upsurge of anger unleashed by the greed and injustices of market forces.