Tag Archive | "Eco-Art Village"

Tags: , , , , , , ,

More About Vertigo Dance Company & the Eco-Art Village

Posted on 24 July 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Vertigo Dance Company in Noa Wertheim’s Mana. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

With a studio in Jerusalem rather than Tel Aviv and another home base in the form of an Eco-Art Village on Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Hey, Vertigo Dance Company is certainly far from ordinary.  But what makes Vertigo even more of a standout is the exceptional artistry and socially conscious vision of its artistic directors, Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al.

From the very start, the couple’s striking choreography made an impression on the local dance scene. The pair’s first duet, Vertigo, drew not only from Sha’al’s own experience in the air force but also considered the feeling of dizziness within the context of personal relationships; the work garnered them the 1992 On the Way to London award from the British Council. The following year, their multimedia duet Contact Lenses won the first prize in the prestigious Shades of Dance festival for emerging choreographers.

As Wertheim and Sha’al expanded the ensemble of their Vertigo Dance Company, they became known for making daringly athletic work that explored deeply human issues.   The company’s repertory also shattered the conventions of traditional concert dance.  The Power of Balance (2001), a collaboration with British choreographer Adam Benjamin, integrated the group’s regular roster of dancers with disabled dancers.  Placing mankind’s relationship to the environment at its core, Birth of the Phoenix (2004) abandoned the theater for the outdoors, with the dancers performing on a dirt ground under a geodesic dome.

In June, Vertigo performed a trilogy of recent works – the iconic Birth of the Phoenix, the supremely energetic White Noise (2008), and the magnificent Mana (2009) – at the Israel Festival in Jerusalem. Now the company is bringing these three stellar dances to the Suzanne Dellal Center as part of the SummerDance 2010 festival with performances running from August 2 to August 4.   As a bonus, the performance of White Noise on June 3 will be followed by a meeting with the artists.

Want to learn more about this unique group?  Here are several videos with footage of interviews at the Eco-Art Village and the dances from the trilogy as well as Vertigo and Noa Wertheim’s appearance at the TedxTelAviv event.

Below is a video about Vertigo Dance Company’s Eco-Art Village, with brief clips primarily of Noa Wertheim’s Birth of the Phoenix.

In this next video, artistic directors Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al as well as some of Vertigo’s dancers talk about working in the Eco-Art Village. Many of the dance excerpts are from Wertheim’s White Noise.

Vertigo and Noa Wertheim were part of TedxTelAviv, which was held on April 26, 2010 at the Jaffa port.  The video below includes an excerpt from White Noise, followed by Wertheim discussing her move to the Eco-Art Village and her philosophy. The video closes with an excerpt of Mana.

Related Articles on Dance In Israel

Related Links

Comments (5)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Vertigo Dance Company: A Conversation with Choreographer Noa Wertheim

Posted on 25 May 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Download the podcast (You can right-click the link and press “save as” to download the file to your computer.)

You can download the podcast file by clicking here (use right click and “save as”).

Adi Sha’al and Noa Wertheim of Vertigo Dance Company. Photo by Eyal Landesman.

(This podcast was initially produced for Israel Seen in 2008.  You can subscribe to this podcast using the iTunes software by clicking this link to the podcast feed.)

As I have traveled through Israel’s dance circles, I have run into Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al many times: at Vertigo Dance Company’s concerts at the Suzanne Dellal Center, at contact jams, and at a performance of Noa’s work on students from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.  With their company, their school in Jerusalem, and their growing artist village on Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Hey, this dynamic couple is a powerful force in the Israeli contemporary dance scene.  They’re also revolutionary in their community-centered and environmentally-conscious approach to dance.


Video: Vertigo Dance Company’s Birth of the Phoenix

In this interview, held in the spring of 2008, Noa talks about raising a family while directing a company, building the Eco-Art Village, choreographing the site-specific environmental dance Birth of the Phoenix, and engaging in “tikkun olam” – healing the world – through her work.


Noa Wertheim’s White Noise. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

When we spoke two years ago, Noa was mounting her White Noise, and in the fall of 2009, she premiered her Mana at the Curtain Up Festival.  Along with her iconic Birth of the Phoenix, these two works are now being performed by Vertigo at the Israel Festival in Jerusalem.

Related Articles on Dance In Israel

Other Podcasts on Dance In Israel

Related Links

*This post was made possible thanks to a Fulbright student grant funded by the U.S.-Israel Educational Foundation and hosted by the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

Comments Off on Vertigo Dance Company: A Conversation with Choreographer Noa Wertheim

Tags: , , , , , ,

Vertigo Dance Company in Noa Wertheim’s “Mana”

Posted on 29 January 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Vertigo in Noa Wertheim’s Mana

Another guest at International Exposure 2009, Talia Baruch, covers the San Francisco-area dance scene for her blog GoSee– Dance. She wrote some reviews of dances she saw here in Israel in December for her website and is generously sharing them here on Dance In Israel.

Talia’s second guest article is about Noa Wertheim’s Mana, which premiered as part of Curtain Up’s 20th anniversary and was a hit with the audience at International Exposure.  Read on to hear Talia’s take on this captivating work.

* * *

International Exposure 2009—Suzanne Dellal Dance Center | Vertigo Dance Company

By Talia Baruch

MANA
Vessel of Light

Choreography & Artistic Director: Noa Wertheim | Co-Artistic Director: Adi Sha’al | Music: Ran Bagno | Percussion: Dani Makov | Stage & Costume Design: Rakefet Levy | Lighting Design: Dani Fishof | Still photography: Gadi Dagon | Review & Copywriting: Talia Baruch

Mana dances the tension between container and contained, exterior and interior, whole and hollow.

And what is installed first, vessel or light?
Does the Sun rise to fill in the absence of Moonlight, or rather is it the lack of Moonlight that creates the inspiration of its vessel, container of light?
(Based on the Zohar)

Noa Wertheim’s Mana. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Noa Wertheim’s Mana. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

This timeless tale follows the flow in black and white, with few specks of ruddy-warm.  The bewitching-dark night stands in still, mystical contrast to the milky-white house, symmetrically centered in its simple stable form on stage.

Geometric shapes will now act out the dialogue between feminine and masculine, draw the drama between the forces of life that forever struggle to compliment each other:

Feminine: circular, soft black balloon, hanging like a full moon, up above the house

Masculine: pointy, sharp angular triangular roof, edgy rectangular door, protruding

Feminine: curve and crave in sensual, spiral hip-stirred movements

Masculine: stride, high-strung, across the stage in “connect-the-dot”-like linear routes

Noa Wertheim’s Mana. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Both forces aspire to escape the hollow and reach the whole in this quest to be holistically contained and content. The visual image interlaced throughout the show is of a black balloon attached to a dancer, pulling her up, tall, stretching out for perfection, her white legs long and strong, trotting like a royal horse in a parade.

Noa Wertheim’s Mana. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

At first glance, the fully dressed, almost orthodox, costumes communicate a puritan, reserved modesty.  But quite quickly, a bare foot peeking under heavy garment, an escaping white shoulder, a curving contour, a tight waistline, a hip, lend to a sensual, lustful, communication.  The free-fall back bends and suicidal leaps shatter the quiet, restrained recital.

Noa Wertheim’s Mana. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

The music drapes the dancers like a fitted gown, in sync, in tune. I play the soundtrack CD over and over and give in to the lyric mood quietly setting in.  Ran Bagno, who has been working hand in hand with Vertigo’s mom and pap (Noa and Adi), wrote the score and played all the instruments, except for percussion, tapped by Dani Makov.  I sit with Bagno over cappuccino on a sunny winter day in down town Tel Aviv and ask him about the creative process of piecing music for this show. “Unlike some other dances, Mana isn’t a collage of fragmented scenes,” he says, “rather, it’s composed as a single, comprehensive piece. When Noa came out with the idea of a ‘vessel holding light’ I struggled to find just the right musical instrument to fit in…until I stumbled over my kid’s old, abandoned guitar. Something about its virgin, broken, acoustic sound was perfect for infusing the muse.”

Noa Wertheim’s Mana. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Watching the fluid flow of movement on stage, I’m reminded of Alexander Calder’s art — capturing compound sketches in one single line stroke.  The expression captured in Mana carries the visual aesthetics of calligraphy: fine brush, dipped in black ink, forms a black blotch over snow white paper.  Then, in a single skilled hand, it drifts, pulling up tall, lying low, and spiraling all the way through.

Noa Wertheim’s Mana. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Vertigo Dance Company founded the pea-green Eco Art Village, where they live and create in a little utopian planet of clean air and fresh manure: http://www.eco-artvillage.org/index_eng.asp. This might explain why their work is genuinely untainted, raw and earthly.

Talia Baruch is a writer and translator covering the dance/theater scene in San Francisco, where she has been living for the past 11 years. She is the founder of Copyous, providing creative copywriting and Localization Strategies. The ingredients that shaped her life are the explosive dance scene in urban Tel Aviv, where she grew up, the pea-green English country side, where she inhaled a handsome amount of fresh-manure & horseback-countered through endless woods, and the 24/7 Localization/Internationalization business bustle, that put perspective to it all. www.copyous.com

Related Articles on Dance In Israel

Related Links

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrating Shavuot through Movement: Hagiga with Bodyways, Vertigo & the Amuta

Posted on 19 May 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Photos: The 2009 Hagiga Celebration, including Vertigo Dance Company and choreographers of the Amuta. Studio photos from 2007 festival are by Rivi Nissim and Amos Vinikof.

For religious Israelis, the upcoming holiday of Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai.  But for this country’s dancers, Shavuot is a time for celebrating movement.  Leaving the hustle and bustle of daily life behind, they flock to more remote, peaceful dance centers around Israel for a few days of invigorating workshops and inspiring performances.

One of these annual Shavuot gatherings is Hagiga, which translates fittingly to “celebration” or “festival.”   Initiated by the portal Bodways, the event has become a holiday tradition not only for dancers but for people who are involved in other expressive movement arts such as yoga, tai chi, and Feldenkrais.  Rivi Nissim, the founder of Bodyways, emphasizes that the festival “was initiated as a physical (‘down to earth’) meeting between the artists represented in the Bodyways website and the surfers of the website.”

Nissim calls Hagiga a “wandering festival,” hosted in some years by Adama and Ashram in the Desert before moving to Vertigo Dance Company’s Eco-Art Village last spring.  No matter where it is held, the festival always attracts a spirited crowd eager to celebrate and connect through movement.

Now in its fifth year, Hagiga has grown to be a dynamic collaboration between Bodyways, Vertigo, and the Amuta (the Choreographers Society, an association for Israel’s independent choreographers).   The involvement of so many choreographers will make this year’s event somewhat more dance-centered, with several contemporary repertory workshops.  As in previous festivals, there will be a wide range of classes including Gaga, dance improvisation, pilates, Feldenkrais, acrobalance, Cuban percussion, Rio Abierto, voice, and more.  Since all of the teachers are represented in the Bodyways website, the Hagiga festival will indeed live up to its promise as a physical meeting between the portal’s users (and, on top of that, it will be quite a meeting of styles!).

Continue Reading

Comments (4)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Vertigo Dance Company: Art, Environment, Community

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.

* * *

Continue Reading

Comments (12)

My new book is out! Click on the image to learn more:


Advertise Here

Topics

Search (posts) for:

Archives