Tag Archive | "Gates of Jerusalem"

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Maholohet: SummerDance2009 at Suzanne Dellal Center

Posted on 12 July 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Yoram Karmi and Uri Morag’s Man, Woman, Reflections will be performed during SummerDance

It seems like every country has its share of summer dance festivals, and Israel is no exception.  The country’s main concert dance festival, SummerDance (Maholohet in Hebrew) is already underway at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv.  My preview of the festival, “Damn Hot,” was first published in the Jerusalem Post.

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Damn Hot

The Suzanne Dellal Center is turning up the heat with its Maholohet (Hot Dance) summer dance festival.  This year’s program boasts a full summer of sizzling performances, showcasing the best of Israeli dance.  From July 1 until August 29, hundreds of dancers will take the stage in 76 concerts.

Part of Maholohet‘s appeal is the appearance of so many preeminent companies.  The Batsheva, Inbal Pinto and Vertigo Dance Companies are each presenting multiple programs of critically acclaimed works.  Many popular smaller groups and up-and-coming independent choreographers are also heating up the program with their creative fires.

Raising the temperature further this summer are 11 hot-off-the-press premieres by choreographers as diverse as Yasmeen Godder, Alice Dor-Cohen, Ronit Ziv, Idan Cohen and Elina Pechersky.  Another much anticipated highlight is a special guest program with dancers from the famed Paris Opera Ballet.

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Amir Kolben’s “Gates of Jerusalem” – Dancing the Real Jerusalem

Posted on 10 February 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Gates of Jerusalem

Amir Kolben’s Gates of Jerusalem.  Photo by Uri Nevo.

A version of this article, titled “Dancing Amongst Walls,” was published in the Jerusalem Post‘s “Billboard” entertainment guide on February 6, 2009.

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What is the “real Jerusalem”?

To choreographer Amir Kolben, the real Jerusalem is “a city of tensions, between being holy and being profane, between high and low, between dangerous and wonderful places, between dirty markets and serenity.  It’s so extreme,” he says, “I find the city lives within these tensions of so many things.”

It is this view of the world’s holiest city that Kolben will present onstage in his latest dance, The Gates of Jerusalem.  Intrigued by mayor Nir Barkat’s vision of ten million visitors ascending to Jerusalem each year, Kolben sought to create a complex portrait which stretches beyond the images that glorify the city to tourists.  His contemporary choreography also challenges stereotypes of Israeli dance.  While many foreigners may associate this country with folk dance, Israel boasts a thriving concert dance scene.

Kolben is more equipped than most Israeli choreographers to tackle the topic of Jerusalem.  With its many theaters, festivals, and studios, Tel Aviv is the center of the country’s dance activity and the home for most dance companies.  Yet Kolben has based his group, Kolben Dance, in Jerusalem since its inception twelve years ago.  It might be easier to live in the country’s artistic capital, but Kolben notes that despite the conveniences of Tel Aviv, he feels he belongs more in the “deeper, spiritual city of Jerusalem.”

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