Israeli Dance: What’s Happening in October

Abroad, Events, Israeli Choreographers, Israeli Festivals, Lectures, Screenings, Ceremonies, & More, Performances, Video Views

Video: Maria Kong’s Fling

As usual, there are lots of dance performances happening in Israel’s dance scene this month – but as I looked at the calendar, I realized that October is packed with several extra-special events.  Below are some teasers for premieres, festivals, foreign tours, online contests, and more.  For additional information about the following events and other performances, please visit the Dance In Israel Calendars.

Israeli Dance at Home

Maria Kong

The members of Maria Kong.  Photo by ASCAF.

Four former Batsheva dancers – Anderson Braz, Leo Lerus, Ya’ara Moses, and Talia Landa – make up Maria Kong, a new company which debuted fling last month to sold-out crowds.  Now in its second run at the Nachmani Theater in Tel Aviv until October 10 and with a third set of shows planned for November 9-15, fling is clearly here to stay.  3-D projections, stunning costumes, and a striking score of both live and recorded music set an otherworldly mood for the work, but it’s the group’s supremely dynamic movement and supercharged stage presence which gives fling a lasting impact.

Shlomit Fundaminsky

Shlomit Fundaminsky in La Divina. Photo by Aviv Zemer.

In honor of Tmuna Theater’s 29th anniversary, this month’s performances at the Tel Aviv institution are priced at a mere 29 shekels (that’s roughly $8!).  Participating choreographers and dance groups include Shlomit Fundaminsky, Hagit Yakira, Ensemble Maya and Tomer, Acco Dance Center, Anat Shamgar, Efrat Reuven, Benyamin Yagendorf, Elad Ben-Sasson, Inbal Shachar, Tzachi Cohen, Shai Faran, Aviv Eveguy, and Maya Brenner.  Hear about Shlomit’s work in Shlomit Fundaminsky: An Interview about Improvisation and Israeli Life.

Yossi Berg and Oded Graf's new work

Yossi Berg and Oded Graf’s 4 Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer.  Photo by Matyas Krotziger.

Yossi Berg and Oded Graf are presenting their new 4 Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer at the Lab in Jerusalem on October 14-15 and at the Inbal Theater in Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center on October 16-17.  This often humorous exploration of the idealized man won rave reviews when it premiered this summer in Germany and Poland, and now the choreographers have revamped their work with a cast of standout Israeli dancers: Hillel Kogan, Irad Matzliach, and Yossi Berg and Oded Graf themselves.

Barak Marshall's "Rooster"

Barak Marshall’s Rooster premieres in Tel Aviv Dance 2009.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

October means it’s time for the Tel Aviv Dance festival!  This festival brings some of the hottest names in dance from around the world to the Suzanne Dellal Center and the Tel Aviv Opera House.  Stay tuned to Dance In Israel for more on Tel Aviv Dance 2009, which runs from October 16 through November 13 – and if you’re nostalgic, you can reread my preview of Tel Aviv Dance 2008.  Last year Barak Marshall’s Monger was a big hit when it opened Tel Aviv Dance, and this year, his new work Rooster will close the festival.

In partnership with the Israeli hotel chain Isrotel, the Batsheva Dance Company is presenting the 6th Phaza Morgana Festival in Timna National Park, Eilat from October 22-24.  This year’s festival includes Take Two, a program featuring choreography by Ohad Naharin and Sharon Eyal; Anaphaza, one of Ohad Naharin’s iconic works; and a special appearance by the Idan Raichel Project.  Check out my most recent article on Batsheva, Batsheva Dance Company: From Graham to Gaga, for background on the company and a list of other related articles about the group.

Israeli Dance Abroad

Whether you’re in Europe, the United States, or Asia, there’s something coming your way this month . . . .

Barak Marshall's "Monger"

Barak Marshall’s Monger. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Barak Marshall’s production of Monger kicked off this month with a trip to Seoul and Daego, South Korea; the final performance of this tour is October 7th.

Video: Yossi Berg and Oded Graf’s Heroes.

Besides presenting their 4 Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer in Israel, Yossi Berg and Oded Graf are taking Heroes to the N.O.W. Festival in Saarbrucken, Germany on October 10.  The pair returns to Staatsheater Kassel, Germany for an October 25 showing of a new creation, Fairy Tales, which has its official world premiere in December.

Iris Erez in Arkadi Zaides's "Solo Colores"

Iris Erez in Arkadi Zaides’s Solo Colores.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

From October 11 until the 25, Arkadi Zaides is touring with Solo Colores and Solo Siento in Asia.  After showing Solo Colores at the Shanghai Dance Festival in Shanghai, both works will be performed in Taipei at the Kuan Du Arts Festival and then in Tokyo.  For more about these works, check out my article Arkadi Zaides: Community Connections and Stunning Solos.

Yasmeen Godder's "Singular Sensation"

Yasmeen Godder’s Singular Sensation.  Photo by Tamar Lamm.

Yasmeen Godder’s Singular Sensation will be performed in Prague on October 11-12 as part of 4+4 Days in Motion, and on the 28th-29th, the work will be part of TANZ IN BERN in Bern, Switzerland.  Read more about Yasmeen’s work in Close Encounters Series: Yasmeen Godder.


Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak’s Hydra.  Photo by Seto Hidemi.

The Inbal Pinto Dance Company takes Hydra to the Dance Umbrella Festival in London on October 18-19.  The creators talked about the development of Hydra in my podcast Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak: An Interview on Imagination.

Gilat Amotz's "Empty Room"

Gilat Amotz’s Empty Room.  Photo by Lucky Trimmer, Berlin.

Gilat Amotz’s solo Empty Room will be performed in Masdanza, the  International Contemporary Dance Festival of the Canary IslandsEmpty Room is one of only 10 solos which were selected for this competition, which runs from October 17-24.  Gilat’s choreography was also chosen to be included in the Masdanza Tenerife Festival at the Teatro Victoria in Santa Cruz in Tenerife from October 25-26.

As part of Nextbook’s Jewish Body Week, the Foundation for Jewish Culture is presenting an evening titled Contemporary Israeli Dance and the Reinvention of the Jewish Body at the JCC in Manhattan on October 22.  Choreographers Deganit Shemy, Andrea Miller of Gallim Dance, and Saar Harari of LeeSaar: The Company will show excerpts of their work and participate in a panel discussion moderated by dance writer Elizabeth Zimmer.  Read a bit about Deganit Shemy’s premiere of Arena at DTW last spring in From Writing to Talking about Dance, and find out about Andrea Miller’s connection to Israeli contemporary dance in Gallim Dance at Jacobs Pillow: Waves of Influence.

Rachel Erdos's "Alma"

Rachel Erdos’s Alma. Photo from Gvanim Be’machol 2007.

Rachel Erdos is headed to the United States to set Alma on the Washington D.C.-based troupe CityDance Ensemble.  Her work will be performed at the Kennedy Center as part of CityDance’s “Latitude” program on October 29-30.  CityDance toured the Middle East last spring, and I caught up with them in east Jerusalem; read about their visit in CityDance in Jerusalem: Exploring the Gaps Between American and Israeli Dance.

Israeli Dance Online

Video: Michael Miler’s Speed of Light

Michael Miler’s Speed of Light is one of 10 finalists in the Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest 2009.  The winning entry will be performed at Sadler’s Wells in London in January 2010 as part of the program Sadler’s Wells Program.  Like Speed of LightVote for it! Speed of Light caught my eye when it premiered at the Shades of Dance Festival last March; read my impressions in Behind the Scenes at Gvanim: Shades of Dance Festival.

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For a calendar including these events and other performances, please visit the Dance In Israel Calendars.  Know of some other exciting event relating to Israeli dance in Israel or abroad?  Leave a comment below with the details!

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