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Visions of Dancing in Israel

Posted on 27 October 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili


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!

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