Visions of Dancing in Israel

Events, Video Views

An ad for the exhibit’s September 18th opening from the Israeli Consulate

It’s not only Israeli dance groups that perform in Israel.  With enthusiastic Israeli audiences at the ready, companies from around the world have made Israel a destination on their tours.  In a single month, the International Tel Aviv Dance Festival (Tel Aviv Dance 2008) will feature groups from Spain, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Slovenia, the U.K., the Netherlands, the Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Madagascar, and the United States.  Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet received a warm welcome this weekend when they opened the festival with works by Joe Stromgren, Crystal Pite, and Israel’s own Ohad Naharin; the dancers are now touring through the rest of the country.

Cedar Lake is not the only American dance company with strong ties to Israel and Israeli dance.  Based in Connecticut, Pilobolus commissioned Israeli choreographers Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak to create Rushes in 2007, and the company also performed in Israel last year. While on tour, Robert Whitman took a series of stunning photographs featuring Pilobolus’s trademark sculptural physicality against the backdrop of Israel’s natural treasures, ancient sites, and modern urban delights. These images are on display in New York City’s Chelsea Market (75 9th Avenue, between 15th and 16th Streets) from September 18 until October 31, 2008. I went to the opening event and wrote the post below for The Winger. Read on, and if you’re in New York City, rush over to Chelsea Market before the photographs come down!

* * *

About two months into my stay here in the U.S., I’m missing Israel terribly. I miss my partner, the people, the food, the sites, and of course, the dancing! I got a quick fix of Israel and dance yesterday during my last jaunt into New York City, where I strolled through the Chelsea Market for the opening of a photography exhibit sponsored by the Consulate General of Israel. Photographer Robert Whitman took some gorgeous shots of Pilobolus dancers on their tour through Israel last year, and the results ranged from beautiful to whimsical. Some places I couldn’t pinpoint, but I recognized lots of locations I miss: quaint old Jaffa, the Dead Sea, and the markets in Jerusalem. I’m returning to Israel on Tuesday and can’t wait to go back to these places in person, but you New Yorkers can check out these visions of dancing in Israel through the end of October. The video below has some of the images as well as clips of Whitman talking about the exhibit.

Photographer Robert Whitman speaks about the Pilobolus in Israel exhibit

I’m posting a few more links on Dance In Israel below, in case you can’t make it to the exhibit:

Check out the announcement for this photography exhibit on Pilobolus’s MySpace blog and on the Israeli Consulate’s website.  The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz also published an article about the Pilobolus exhibit.

You can learn more about Pilobolus, see some of Whitman’s photographs, and view video of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak’s Rushes on Pilobolus’s website.

And finally, courtesy of the Israeli Consulate’s blog, you can see the happy crowd I joined on opening night:


  • I marked this on my calendar a few weeks ago and am eager to see it. There’s so much going on right now in the dance world, but hopefully I’ll be able to stop by within the next few weeks. Have a safe trip back to Israel, Deborah!

  • Deb – great seeing you at the show! Thanks for posting this video – nice job.

    The Martha Graham site I was telling you about is

    I’m sure you’ll be taking some great dance photos in tel-aviv – hope your trip is great, and that you get your fill of dance in NYC before your trip.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.