Tag Archive | "Maholohet"

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Maholohet: SummerDance 2010 Heats Up at Suzanne Dellal

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Batsheva Dancers Create

The Batsheva Dance Company’s dancers might have cooled off at the beach to make this video, but this July, they – and many of Israel’s finest dancers – will be heating up the Suzanne Dellal Center’s stages during SummerDance 2010.  The annual festival, called Maholohet in Hebrew (a play on the words for “dance” and “hot”), will take place from July 1-August 31 and boast 84 performances.

Nuevo Ballet Español.  Photo courtesy of Ora Lapidot PR.

This year’s programming kicks off with a festival within the festival.  From July 1-10, Madrid Dance will showcase Spanish dance including the Antonio Najarro Dance Company, Nuevo Ballet Español, Sharon Friedman and Jesus Pastor, and Pastor and José Marino.  More international guests arrive later in the summer with dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet performing their own creations in Incidence Choreographique and with the Black Light Theatre from Prague in Africania.

Video: Rachel Erdos’s OU’ premieres at SummerDance 2010

As in previous years, premieres abound at SummerDance.  This year’s bounty, totaling 19 new works, will include premieres by Dana Ruttenberg, Kamea Dance Company, Tamar Borer and Tamara Erde, Portal Dance Company, DaNaKa Dance Group, Yoni Soutchy, Idan Sharabi, Ronit Ziv, Sigal Ziv, Elina Pechersky, Rena Schenfeld, Dafi Altebab, Mami Shimizaki, Sharon Vazanna, Anat Grigorio, the Jerusalem Ballet, and Rachel Erdos.  Sahar Azimi, Elad Shechter, and Ido Tadmor offer pre-premieres, and Yaniv Cohen’s work will be shown in its Israeli premiere.

Arkadi Zaides’s Quiet.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

For audiences who missed some of this year’s most intriguing premieres, SummerDance offers a second chance to check them out.  Among the offerings are Arkadi Zaides’s Quiet, which recently returned from a tour of Europe, as well as the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Rami Be’er’s Infrared, Fresco Dance Group in Yoram Karmi’s Particle Accelerator, Kamea Dance Group in Tamir Ginz’s SRUL, Kolben Dance Company in Min-Hara, and Animato Dance Company in Nadine Bommer’s American Cinema. Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak’s Rushes Plus and Ohad Naharin’s Kyr/Z/na 2010, both highlights of the last season, combine excerpts of older works in a strikingly new context. And Vertigo Dance Company presents not only its recent hit Mana but also White Noise and the now classic Birth of the Phoenix.

Batsheva Dancers Create.  Photo by Yoav Barel.

Several evenings pop out from the schedule with a mixture of interesting fare.  This year’s festival includes Batsheva Dancers Create, an annual workshop featuring two programs of Batsheva’s dancers in an array of their own choreography.  Another intriguing evening is Noa Dar’s presentation of her recent Anu alongside a work-in-progress, Banu, which is the extension of her previous creation.  And audiences will have a chance to sample a combination of choreographers when established artists host up-and-coming contemporary choreographer.  These programs include Dana Ruttenberg and Shlomit Fundaminsky hosting Neta Ruttenberg and Uri Shafir; Sahar Azimi hosting Elad Shechter and Yaniv Cohen; Dafi Altebab hosting Mami Shimizaki; and Idan Cohen hosting Sharon Vazanna.

Beta Dance Troupe in Meeka Yaari and Ruth Eshel’s Fathers and Sons. Photo by Ofer Zvulun.

SummerDance 2010 also features several companies and choreographers that add an ethnic flavor to the Israeli concert dance scene.  Beta Dance Troupe blends Ethiopian traditions with contemporary choreography in Meeka Yaari and Ruth Eshel’s Fathers and Sons as well as Adam McKinney and Daniel Banks’s What We are Saying. Rona Bar-On, Sigal Ziv, and Elina Pechersky bring belly dance to the stage, while COMPAS, Silvia Duran, and Tania Vinokur offer variations on flamenco.  Adding to the mix is Bangoura, an African dance company that will perform The dance of the drums.

Batsheva Ensemble in Ohad Naharin’s Kamuyot.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Want to attend a dance performance with your family?  Several family-friendly programs are dotting this year’s bill, including the Batsheva Ensemble in Ohad Naharin’s Kamuyot, Kamea Dance Group in Or Abuhav’s The Ugly Duckling, COMPAS in Carmen and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and Noa Dar Dance Group in Children’s Games.

Rounding out the programming are several critically acclaimed works created in recent years, including Yasmeen Godder’s Singular Sensation and Yossi Berg and Oded Graf’s Four Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer, and evenings of work by independent choreographers including Iris Erez, Shlomi Frige, Maya Levy, Michael Miler, and Michal Herman.

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Idan Cohen’s “Swan Lake” Soars into the 21st Century

Posted on 23 August 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Idan Cohen's "Swan Lake"

Idan Cohen’s Swan Lake.  Photo by Marek Weis.

During a preview of the Maholohet festival at Suzanne Dellal in June, the sounds of Tchaikovsky’s famous Swan Lake filled the air.  But what I saw on stage had no overt connection to the images which popped into my mind: a ballerina executing 32 fouettes, four petite dancers doing petit allegro with their arms interlinked, and row after row of “swans” waving their arms like powerful wings.

I was intrigued, and a few weeks ago, I sat down with choreographer Idan Cohen to hear about his contemporary take on one of the most famous ballets in history.  While the three minutes I saw of his work caught my eye, I’m now even more curious about the entire piece.  This is an unmistakably 21st-century Swan Lake, but the connections to the popular 18th-century version run deep.

This article was first published in the Jerusalem Post as “When the Cygnet Grows Up.”

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When the Cygnet Grows Up

“I think the only reason to create something has to be out of love and out of a connection,” states choreographer Idan Cohen.

Like many in the dance world, Cohen feels a strong love for and a deep connection to Swan Lake, the iconic ballet which Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov presented at the famed Mariinsky Theatre in 1895.  Celebrated choreographers from George Balanchine to Mats Ek to Matthew Bourne have put their own spins on the work.  Now with the generous support of several organizations, including Israel’s Culture Ministry, the Pais Foundation and the Suzanne Dellal Center, Cohen is unveiling his own contemporary version in Tel Aviv.

Cohen cites the choreographic history of Swan Lake as one motivating factor in undertaking this production, and he adds, “I feel I have a very deep connection both to the music [by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky] and also to the cultural place that the music and the ballet takes inside our culture, the western culture.  Swan Lake presents such a beautiful, romantic image of strong forces: good opposite evil, beauty opposite alternative beauty, animal versus human . . . all those ideas that are portrayed in Swan Lake in such a defined way – I kind of wanted to open them up and to research how we relate to those forces today.”

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Sally-Anne Friedland’s “A Private Collection”

Posted on 13 August 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Sally-Anne Friedland’s Dance Drama Company in A Private Collection

One of 11 premieres in this year’s Maholohet festival, Sally-Anne Friedland’s A Private Collection was first performed at Suzanne Dellal on July 19th.  Now the work is heading to Jerusalem on August 20th and returning to Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center on August 22nd.

My preview of A Private Collection was first published as “A Public Premiere” in the Jerusalem Post on July 17, 2009.

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A Public Premiere

When choreographer Sally-Anne Friedland was commissioned to make a work for her visit to the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York City, she created a short dance called Borders.  “It was like an unfinished symphony,” Friedland explains, “I knew I would come back to it one day.”

Three years later, Borders has become what Friedland calls the “cornerstone” of her latest creation.  Like its predecessor, A Private Collection investigates “intimate borders, personal borders, how far we can go and what we need for protection.”

But this new work goes deeper, with three sections that take the audience on a multi-layered, visually luscious journey.  Opening with dancers spread across the floor in frozen positions and covered with pastel-colored sheets of tulle, “Yesterday” conveys the sense that something has already happened.  The dancers soon come alive, cleverly manipulating the nets to become bustles or bridal veils.

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More on Maholohet: A Hot Summer of Dance Continues

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Aviv Eveguy’s Dimona will show at Maholohet on August 4

Yes, I know, I already posted one article about Maholohet (SummerDance).  But some people might need a reminder that there’s still one month left of nearly nightly performances at Suzanne Dellal, and perhaps those of you who are abroad would like to hear a bit more about this Israeli summer tradition.

Although I was lucky enough to see many of the festival’s offerings earlier this season, several of this summer’s works were new (or new to me), and so in July I found myself walking over to Suzanne Dellal a few times a week.  One of the standouts so far was Yoram Karmi and Uri Morag’s Man, Woman, Reflections, with its brilliant use of swinging lamps, illuminating projections, and clever choreography involving innovative sets.  The two-part Under by Matanicola and Yasmeen Godder also delivered a punch with its intense atmosphere and powerful performances.  And just this week, Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak’s Rushes caught my eye with images that were simple, striking, and sustained for just the right amount of time.

Even if you’ve missed these concerts, there’s still plenty to come!  Read on to see what else will heat up the stage this summer – all of the works I’ve mentioned below will be performed during August.

The article below was first published as “Some Summer Spice” in the Jerusalem Post on July 12, 2009.

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Some Summer Spice

Even the numbers of the Suzanne Dellal Center’s SummerDance Festival are impressive: eight weeks of concerts, 76 performances, 11 premieres and one group of special guests from abroad. But what’s behind the statistics – an exceptionally diverse assortment of dance – is even more extraordinary.

SummerDance 2009 (Maholohet, a play on the phrase “hot dance” in Hebrew) has showcased the wealth of Israeli concert dance since its inception 13 years ago.  What started as a three-week festival gradually expanded, and now, with the Suzanne Dellal Center celebrating its 20th anniversary, SummerDance is having its hottest season yet.

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Shlomit Fundaminsky: An Interview on Improvisation and Israeli Life (Podcast)

Posted on 26 July 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Download the podcast (You can right-click the link and press “save as” to download the file to your computer.)

Shlomit Fundaminsky in Inner Pocket. Photo by Eyal Landsman.

(This podcast was initially produced for Israel Seen in 2008, and the text is amended from my writing on The Winger.  You can subscribe to this podcast using the iTunes software by clicking this link to the podcast feed.  You can also subscribe for free at the iTunes store.)

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Whether she is performing a solo she choreographed, improvising with the Oktet, or teaching a contemporary dance class, Shlomit Fundaminsky is someone to watch.  She has drawn my eyes in all of these settings.  Onstage she fully embodies the clever characters she creates, and in the studio, she passes on her passion for movement to her many students (full disclosure – I am one of them!).

I have had the pleasure of talking with Shlomit on many occasions since first arriving in Israel, and we finally sat down to record an engaging conversation in June 2008.  Join us as we discuss her career, the connection between improvisation and life, the realities of being a dancer in Israel, and how life in Israel affects the dance that is made here.

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