Usually I meet choreographers before I interview them, or at least I have seen a concert or two of theirs. But having heard plenty of positive buzz and watched some captivating clips on YouTube, I was sufficiently intrigued about Andrea Miller to set up a Skype conversation with the New York-based choreographer this summer.
Unlike most of the artists I’ve interviewed in the last two years, Andrea isn’t Israeli. However, she’s no stranger to the Israeli contemporary dance scene. Prior to taking Manhattan by storm with her three-year-old company, Gallim Dance, Andrea lit up the stage as a member of the Batsheva Ensemble. I couldn’t help but wonder if and how her fresh aesthetic had been affected by her time here in Israel.
Posted on 06 October 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili
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.
Video: A trailer for Gallim Dance in Andrea Miller’s Blush, which will be performed at Jacob’s Pillow from July 8-12.
What’s a New York-based dance company doing with a name like Gallim, which means “waves” in Hebrew?
Gallim Dance wasn’t founded by an Israeli, but its director and choreographer – Andrea Miller – was once at the center of Israeli contemporary dance as a member of Ohad Naharin’s Batsheva Ensemble. Now Miller is generating buzz of her own with Gallim, which has attracted the attention of presenters, critics, and audiences since its inception in 2006.
It was Miller’s I Can See Myself in Your Pupil which first caught the eye of Ella Baff, the director of the famed Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts. Baff invited Gallim Dance to perform the work at the festival’s Inside/Out outdoors stage last summer, and she called the concert “a big hit.” “People really, really loved it,” she told me in a phone interview. “It was absolutely one of the most popular things that we presented on Inside/Out last season.”
Gallim Dance is poised to be another hit at the Pillow this year. From July 8-12, Gallim Dance will perform Miller’s latest work, Blush, in the Doris Duke Theatre.
Since 1981, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award has been bestowed annually on luminaries of the dance world. From Martha Graham (the first recipient) to Laura Dean (the 2008 recipient), selected choreographers have won this prize with their lifelong devotion to building and shaping their art form. The honorees have pioneered new techniques and ventured into unfamiliar compositional territory. Out of their experiments emerged choreography that was not only groundbreaking but masterful.
With the exceptions of Pina Bausch and Maguy Marin, the Scripps recipients have been American or based in the United States. This year, though, a third choreographer from abroad will receive the award: Ohad Naharin. The award presentation will take place on June 25th at ADF in Durham, North Carolina.
Naharin, the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, has left an indelible impact not only on the troupe he leads but on the larger Israeli dance scene. Yet as his selection for the Scripps award suggests, Naharin’s influence is also felt beyond Israel’s borders.
Indeed, Naharin’s work has spread worldwide. Major companies including the Nederlans Dans Theater and the New York-based Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet have performed his critically acclaimed and captivating choreography. Juilliard students have learned several of Naharin’s works over the years, while young dancers in Sweden recently presented Kamuyot. And of course, the Batsheva Dance Company itself has toured around the globe with a tempting menu of Naharin’s visual delights.