Tag Archive | "Jaffa"

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Experiencing Yasmeen Godder’s Repertory Workshop

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Yasmeen Godder's "Two Playful Pink"

Yasmeen Godder and Iris Erez in Godder’s Two Playful Pink.  Photo by Tamar Lamm.

More than a year ago, I had the opportunity to take a week-long repertory workshop at Yasmeen Godder’s studio.  I found the intensive enriching both as a dancer and as a dance researcher, and I recounted my experience on The Winger on April 4, 2008; that article is posted below.

Now another batch of advanced dancers will have the chance to sink their teeth into Godder’s meaty material during a brand-new, year-long intensive.  Hosted by ActSearch and held at Godder’s studio in Jaffa, this program will build participants’ physical and expressive skills through a mix of technique classes, repertory workshops, and sessions with dramaturge Itzik Giuli.

Besides preparing for this exciting endeavor, Godder has been touring one of her latest works, Singular Sensation. Want to watch some of her work and see what’s in store for her new students?  There are lots of upcoming performances in several locations.  After one more performance of Singular Sensation at Suzanne Dellal on October 1, the production is traveling to Prague and Bern in October before touring Germany and Belgium in November.  For more information on the intensive workshop and the tour, check out the links at the end of this article.

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Yasmeen Godder’s Repertory Worskhop (April 2008)

It’s been more than seven months since I have learned new repertory, and while I’m loving my dance classes and improvisational projects, I do miss the process of absorbing and living in a piece of choreography.   So even though my body feels a bit tired now, my spirit is extremely happy after tasting a bit of Yasmeen Godder’s work!

I just finished a five-day workshop at her studio in Jaffa (at the south of Tel Aviv – technically, the city is Tel Aviv-Yafo).  Yasmeen is currently on tour in Europe with her production Sudden Birds, so two of her dancers led the intensive.  Each day began with Eran Shanny’s technique class, which was very similar to Yasmeen’s with its influences of release technique, yoga, Feldenkrais, and more.

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Home Port Festival Lures Audiences to Jaffa Port

Posted on 03 April 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Aviv Eveguy at Home Port

Choreographer Aviv Eveguy performing a solo at Home Port’s opening night.  Photo by Aharela Golran.

The night before my flight to Boston, I trekked down to Jaffa one more time for a performance of Shlomit Fundaminsky and Itay Yatuv’s Metaktek (Ticking) at the Home Port Festival.  As I descended to the port, a car pulled up and a couple asked for directions to hangar #2.  I answered them and smiled – hangar #2 is, well, home to Home Port.

Located next to a swarm of bobbing fishing boats, this enormous hangar is not your typical destination for a dance performance.  Yet the members of the Choreographers Society have lured a mix of devoted dance fans and less seasoned audience members to the Jaffa Port over the last several weeks.  Though some performances were more sparsely attended, the opening marathon of solos on March 12 actually sold out!  Those who were turned away at the door – and those who simply couldn’t make it that night – have a second chance to witness this extraordinary program when the festival closes on April 6.

With concerts nearly every evening and so many choreographers participating, Home Port was a fantastic opportunity for me to expand my familiarity with the Israeli dance scene.  The festival introduced me to Neta Shizef’s flamenco work and to Anat Katz’s contemporary choreography.  I finally got to see dances I had missed over the last season, like Aviv Eveguy’s Dimona, Yossi Berg & Oded Graf’s Heroes, Nadine Bommer’s Manimation, and the Tel Aviv Dance Company’s Tokyo Oranges.  And I happily re-viewed several works, including Hillel Kogan’s Everything, Yoram Karmi’s La Famiglia, and Noa Shadur’s Hunting Rabbits in the North.

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Home Port Festival: History in the Making for the Choreographers Association

Posted on 13 March 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

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Choreographers celebrating before the opening of the Home Port festival.  Photo by Dorit Talpaz.

This may sound a bit extravagant, but I don’t think I am exaggerating.  Last night I witnessed dance history – and I hope that the opening night of the Home Port Festival (and the festival itself) will go down in the books not as an isolated moment in time but as the recognized beginning of a new stage, figuratively and literally, for Israel’s independent choreographers.

The excitement was palpable when I arrived at the festival last night, and the energy only grew as more people streamed into the enormous hangar.   While Oy Division played a rousing klezmer set, I mingled with choreographers, dancers, administrators, government officials, dance writers, and dance fans.  Everyone seemed to recognize that this collective celebration of individual creation was a momentous occasion.  The dream for a permanent home for the Amuta‘s artists, though still not fully realized, no longer seemed like an impossibility; indeed, the possibilities of what the dance scene would gain in the next weeks at Home Port emboldened the choreographers to dream anew.

After the enthusiastic crowd overflowed the risers, a one-of-a-kind dance marathon commenced.  39 choreographers from the Amuta presented a total of 33 solos and 3 duets, and 38 of the choreographers themselves delivered electrifying performances.

My intention was simply to watch and enjoy, but as each piece sparked snippets of ideas, I started scribbling furiously.  What follows is my ode to the Amuta, a series of one-line impressions from each selection.   Please read on . . .

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Home Port Festival: 54 Choreographers in 33 Concerts at the Jaffa Port

Posted on 11 March 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Choreographers Association

The choreographers of the Amuta in Jaffa for the Home Port Festival.  Photo by Dorit Talpaz.

The first hint that something big was happening in Israel’s concert dance scene was an e-mail from Yossi Berg and Oded Graf about their upcoming performance schedule.  One listing mysteriously said that the duo was presenting Heroes at the Jaffa port for a choreographers festival.  Choreographers festival?  In Jaffa?  Many dance festivals here are annual ones, and I didn’t remember anything like that from last year.

Next I started to see some Facebook events popping up, with choreographers including Hillel Kogan, Noa Dar, Shlomit Fundaminsky, and Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor inviting friends to attend performances at the port during March.   My curiosity grew as the number of choreographers involved increased.

Finally, Yasmeen Godder pulled me over before class one day and told me I should look into a very exciting, unprecedented event: the Home Port festival.  As I talked more with her and followed a few leads, I found out that this was, indeed, something big.

The Home Port festival was initiated by the Amuta (which translates as the Choreographers Association or the Choreographers Society), an umbrella organization for fifty-four independent choreographers who draw from styles as varied as contemporary dance, flamenco, and belly dance.  Working outside of the country’s larger companies, these established choreographers are responsible for much of Israel’s flourishing concert dance scene – and all of them will present their creations in thirty-three different concerts over the next four weeks in a hangar at Jaffa’s port.

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Making Contact: Contact Improvisation in Israel

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:

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