Liron Ozeri’s Caravan. Photo by Kobi Ben Sasson.
As Idit Herman stepped up to the podium in Yerushalmi Hall at the Suzanne Dellal Centre for the press conference announcing Shades of Dance (Gvanim Bemachol) 2011, she reflected on how meaningful this moment was for her. Herman – who co-founded Tel Aviv’s adventurous Clipa Theater with Dmitry Tyulpanov – first received widespread acclaim as a creator in 1997 at Shades of Dance, a biennial platform for new choreographers. Winning the top prize at the 1997 competition helped launch Herman and Tyulpanov’s career; indeed, the award enabled the partners to embark on their next project, and the momentum that built from that initial success progressed until Clipa became a well-known player in the country’s art scene. Now Herman has come full circle, returning to Shades of Dance as artistic director and helping the next generation of choreographers get their start.
Shades of Dance, which takes place every two years and is now in its sixteenth edition, has undergone numerous changes since its inception in 1984. The inaugural event was held in Ramla as a celebration of independent choreographers, boasting both concerts and workshops. Moving to the Duhl Auditorium in Tel Aviv in 1987, the second Shades of Dance bore a closer resemblance to today’s platform with a competition structure inviting new choreographers to vie for a prize. Shades of Dance found a long-term home at Suzanne Dellal in 1990, and here, it has been led by a string of artistic directors from Ellida Geyra to Naomi Perlov to Hanoch Ben Dror to Herman. In some years, the choreographers were organized into bills based on themes, while in other years the programs had no titles. Some editions of the festival included additional shows featuring works by choreographers still in high school. Occasionally, more than one top prize was awarded, while in 2007 and 2009, Shades of Dance was not organized as a competition. Amidst all this variation, the constant has been an emphasis on showcasing a broad spectrum of work by new artists who are, more often than not, as yet unknown to the larger public.
This year’s Shades of Dance, to be held from September 7-10, will certainly fulfill this aim. From the 90 aspiring choreographers who applied, Herman selected 16 artists whom she believed were “the bravest among them, who wanted to go all the way.” These choreographers went through an intensive process, sometimes consulting with the artistic director about how to clearly bring out their works’ content and craft their visual design. Herman has arranged the resulting dances into five programs according to theme, and noting the great push that the first prize once gave her and Tyulpanov, she is reinstating the competition model so that an award contributed by an anonymous donor may propel the most promising of these young voices to even greater heights.
The five different programs of Shades of Dance 2011 are as follows:
Sharon Vaisvaser’s 42 Inch. Photo by Araleh.
Program Aleph: Pure Dance highlights virtuoso movement in Gil Carlos Harush’s TAKANA, Smadar Goshen’s Urbania, and Sharon Vaisvaser’s 42 Inch. Program Aleph will be performed on September 7 at 20:00 and September 9 at 20:00 in Dellal Hall.
Ran Ben Dror’s Agassi Pallas. Photo by Sarah Ben Dror.
Program Bet: Dream Big features work by four creators whom Herman described as “daring artists with chutzpah.” The program includes Idan Yoav’s Almost Human, Ran Ben Dror’s Agassi Pallas, Lee Meir’s Translation in the Body of the Text, and Yuval Goldstein’s Expensive Shit. Program Bet will be performed on September 8 at 20:00 and September 10 at 22:30 in Dellal Hall.
Meytal Blanaru’s Aurora. Photo by Julie Betrad.
Program Gimel: The Future is Now centers on work that Herman calls “futuristic dance” with refreshingly unfamiliar movement. The bill is composed of Meytal Blanaru’s Aurora, Moran Yitzhaki Abergel’s Over me, and Lilach Livne’s Monday Larissa. Program Gimel will be performed on September 7 at 17:30, September 8 at 22:30, and September 9 at 12:00 in Yerushalmi Hall.
Yoni Soutchy’s Ben. Photo by Gadi Dagon.
Program Daled: Forbidden Fruit has been dubbed “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” by Herman and includes Yoni Soutchy’s Ben, Merav Cohen’s And When the Beast Returned, and Amit Zamir’s Buba (Doll). Program Daled will be performed on September 7 at 22:30, September 8 at 17:30, and September 9 at 14:30 in Yerushalmi Hall.
Artour Astman’s Foosho. Photo by Alexander Sherbakof.
Program Hey: Rare Animal showcases artists who, according to Herman, “researched the physical border between human and animal” and boast “rare physical abilities, almost beyond human.” The bill features Liron Ozeri’s Caravan, Ido Batash’s Bread and Circuses Blood, and Artour Astman’s Foosho. Program Hey will be performed September 9 at 22:30 and September 10 at both 17:30 and 20:00 in Yerushalmi Hall.
A closing ceremony will take place on September 10 at 23:30.
Tickets are available at 03-5105656 or online at the Suzanne Dellal Centre’s website.
Related Articles on Dance In Israel
- Behind the Scenes at Gvanim: Shades of Dance Festival (2009)
- “Then and Now” Brings Old and New Together at Shades of Dance (2009)