Whether she is performing a solo she choreographed, improvising with the Oktet, or teaching a contemporary dance class, Shlomit Fundaminsky is someone to watch. She has drawn my eyes in all of these settings. Onstage she fully embodies the clever characters she creates, and in the studio, she passes on her passion for movement to her many students (full disclosure – I am one of them!).
I have had the pleasure of talking with Shlomit on many occasions since first arriving in Israel, and we finally sat down to record an engaging conversation in June 2008. Join us as we discuss her career, the connection between improvisation and life, the realities of being a dancer in Israel, and how life in Israel affects the dance that is made here.
Posted on 19 December 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili
A sign pointing towards Vertigo Dance Company’s studio on Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Hey.
With a wealth of theaters and studios, Tel Aviv and its surroundings serve as the logical home to most of Israel’s choreographers and dance companies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jerusalem is a distant but growing second center. But it’s not only Israel’s urban areas that attract dancers. Scattered across the country’s more rural landscape, three unique dance communities are thriving: the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and Galilee Dance Village in the north, Adama in the desert south, and the more centrally located Vertigo Dance Company.
I ventured out of Tel Aviv to visit each of these company/communities during my initial survey of Israeli contemporary dance, and I will share the sights from my journeys with photo journals. This week we’ll start with my trip to Vertigo Dance Company‘s Eco-Art Village on Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Hey. I first published this photo journal of my trip to the Eco-Art Village on The Winger on May 23, 2008.
Posted on 14 December 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili
(Improvisation at the Ramat Aviv Mall – Hila Carmel’s video of Lior Ophir’s performance in public spaces class during the 2007 contact festival)
In a mere two months of writing this blog, I have already posted about three festivals (Tel Aviv Dance, Machol Shalem, and Curtain Up). On December 16th, yet another festival will begin: the Israeli Contact Festival.
Whereas the other festivals focus on performances, this three-week festival centers on participation, with people gathering from around the country – and the world – to take part in contact improvisation classes, workshops, and jams. Last year I went to both the opening and closing jams, and I wrote about them for my own blog on December 4, 2007. Below is my report from the field and another video from the 2006 Greenhouse, so read on . . . Continue Reading
Posted on 04 December 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili
(A contact jam at HaKvutza BeYafo; photo by Eliana Ben David)
It took me 20 years of dancing – and a move around the world – to get to my first contact improvisation jam. After this initial experience, though, I had many opportunities to attend jams in Israel; the CI scene is thriving here, with regular jams held at several locations, classes in contact improvisation, and an annual three-week festival in the winter. In conjunction with the monthly jam at HaKvutza BeYafo, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month, I am re-posting my reflection on my first visit to this event. “Making Contact” was initially published on my own website on October 7, 2007.
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After 2.5 weeks in the country, I finally made physical contact with the dance world in Israel – literally. I donned dance clothes for the first time here to attend a contact improvisation jam in Jaffa. For readers unfamiliar with this form, here’s a very brief, basic explanation: