Tag Archive | "Israel Ballet"

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The 50th Israel Festival: Batsheva, Merce Cunningham, and More

Posted on 25 May 2011 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Video: The 2011 Israel Festival
50 years of the Israel Festival – this country’s most prestigious multidisciplinary arts festival – is a milestone worthy of celebration.  And for local dance lovers, the jubilee season offers even more reasons to celebrate, for the programming features an extraordinary lineup of artists from home and from abroad.  With a rich calendar of performances through June 18, the 2011 Israel Festival is set to lure concert-goers from around the country to Jerusalem.  Here’s a peek at this year’s dance events:


Video: Strange Fruit

The first day of the festival featured the physical marvels of Australia’s Strange Fruit in Zion Square and the lyricism of the Israel Ballet and soloists from Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet performing Giselle in Safra Square.

Video: Batsheva Dance Company in Ohad Naharin’s Sadeh21

Batsheva Dance Company returns to the festival with Ohad Naharin’s new Sadeh21, created in collaboration with the troupe’s full roster of dancers.  Bathed in soft lighting by Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi) and clothed in variously hued and textured costumes by Ariel Cohen, the company presented a short preview to the press on Monday.  Although the cast is large, the rapport among the dancers often lends the work an intimate feel and effectively draws the viewer into the world onstage.  Sadeh21 premieres on May 25 and continues its run in Jerusalem through May 27.

Naharin is not the only well-known Israeli choreographer premiering work in the Israel Festival.  On May 28-29, choreographer Nimrod Freed and composer Israel Breit will unveil La, a work for four singers and three dancers.  Drawing on their respective backgrounds in dance and theater, longtime partners Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor will debut Ship of Fools on June 9.


Video: Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Two years after Merce Cunningham’s death, the legendary choreographer’s company is appearing in the Israel Festival as part of its worldwide Legacy Tour.  On June 6, the Sherover Theater will host the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s performance of Split Sides (2003) and Sounddance (1975), while the Israel Museum will be the site of several Events – programs including excerpts of Cunningham’s renowned repertory – on June 9-11.

Merce Cunningham’s Events.  Photo by Anna Finke.

Besides these performances, a series of lectures, discussions, and workshops called MerceCampus will be offered at Bezalel, Yaffo 23 in conjunction with the Jerusalem Season of Culture.  Sessions include a workshop with Dance Forms, the computer software used by Cunningham to compose his dances; film screenings and performances of music by Cunningham’s famed partner John Cage; and conversations with the company’s dancers and artistic director.  Entry to MerceCampus programming is free, and the full schedule in English is available here.

Video: The Danish Dance Theatre in Tim Rushton’s Kridt

The 2011 Israel Festival will close with the Danish Dance Theatre in two programs.  Artistic director Tim Rushton teams up with jazz artist Caroline Henderson for Love Songs on June 15.  A mixed bill including Rushton’s Kridt, Enigma, and CaDance will be performed in Jerusalem on June 17 and in Modi’in on June 18.

For more information about programming and ticketing, visit the Israel Festival’s website.

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Snapshots from International Exposure 2008

Posted on 07 February 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Hydra

Hydra by Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak closed International Exposure.  Photo by Seto Hidemi.

Most visitors to this year’s International Exposure were festival directors, arts presenters, diplomats, or critics.   I, however, came as a researcher.   With this festival – as with my other research activities – I sought to discover, to interpret, to understand.  I searched for old connections and new pathways.

Featuring over 40 works, International Exposure was exactly the right place to look for the threads which tie together this country’s concert dance scene.  The festival is a like a yearbook for Israeli dance.  The offerings by each choreographer serve as the album’s individual portraits.   Mixed bills drawn from some of the country’s other festivals (Curtain Up; Machol Acher/Other Dance Project) hint at the structure of the dance community, just as club pictures reveal a school’s cliques and groups.  And with the 20+ concerts clustered together in a mere six days, it’s possible to see the trends which characterized much this year’s artistic output. (( It should be noted, though, that some choreographers were missing from this year’s International Exposure.  Some well-established artists including Nimrod Freed, Anat Danieli, and Adama’s Nir Ben-Gal and Liat Dror did not present work at the festival.  Meanwhile, younger independent choreographers are far greater in number than those represented onstage. ))

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International Exposure 2008: Day 4

Posted on 23 January 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

(Video: Barak Marshall’s Monger)

Just like the dancers, the audience is moving around a lot today at International Exposure.

Our day kicks off at 11:00 a.m. in a high energy fashion with Rami Be’er’s 60 Hz, performed by the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in the Suzanne Dellal Hall.  Afterwards, we’ll walk across the plaza to the Inbal Dance Theater for Sahar Azimi’s Torus.  Then we move to the complex’s third theater, the Yerushalmi Hall, for the Other Dance Project: Yuval Shalem’s If Not a Flag, Then a Sandwich, Lazaro Godoy’s Jugo de Limon, Gyula Csakvari’s Amarili, and Eyal Munteanu’s Limits.

For our next move, we’ll head over to the reception tent for a traditional Kabbalat Shabbat, the welcoming of the Sabbath.   After this brief break, we’re on the go again.  Our next stop is Kibbutz Yakum for a performance by the Israel Ballet; the company will be performing Xta and Ni-Na by artistic director Berta Yampolsky.

Back in Tel Aviv, we’ll walk through Neve Tsedek to the Tavi Dresner Gallery for Solo Colores by Arkadi Zaides.  And finally, we’ll end up right back where we started: the Suzanne Dellal Center’s main hall.  Barak Marshall’s Monger, which premiered at this year’s Tel Aviv Dance festival, will complete our busy day.

See below for more video and links.

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