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Dancing Differently: New Works by Lazaro Godoy and Dana Ruttenberg

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Lazaro Godoy in "Zero-Z-One"

Lazaro Godoy in Zero-Z-One.

March has been a particularly rich month for dance in Tel Aviv, with both Shades of Dance (Gvanim) at Suzanne Dellal and Home Port in Jaffa.  But two of this month’s more unique offerings – Lazaro Godoy’s Zero-Z-One and Dana Ruttenberg’s NABA – premiered outside of these festivals.

In background and approach, these two artists are themselves unique.  Cuban-born and Juilliard-trained, Lazaro Godoy performed in Switzerland before landing in Israel last year; since his arrival, he has caught my eye in dances by Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak, Sahar Azimi, and Maya Levy.  Dana Ruttenberg, an Israeli native, also made her way to Manhattan.  After receiving her undergraduate degree from Columbia University, she showed her choreography throughout New York before returning to her native country.

Both Lazaro and Dana cast away the conventions of dance concerts in their latest works.  With Zero-Z-One, Lazaro trades the proscenium theater for an open plaza and multi-room gallery in old Jaffa, where he dances a response to visual artist Ayal Shifron’s exhibit Positioning.  Meanwhile, Dana’s NABA stays on the stage but abandons a traditional sound score.  Instead of piping music into the theater, Dana provides audience members with headsets and audio guides like those used in museums.

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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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