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International Exposure 2009: Showcasing Israeli Dance

Posted on 05 December 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Barak Marshall’s Rooster.  Photo by Avi Avin.

As autumn turns into winter, there’s an interesting progression from one dance festival in Tel Aviv to the next. Tel Aviv Dance introduces Israeli audiences to top-notch dance from around the globe before giving way to Curtain Up, a celebration of new Israeli-made works. And then, in a few concentrated days of concerts, International Exposure attempts to introduce Israeli dance to the world by showcasing the past year’s bounty (including recently premiered Curtain Up works) to foreign arts presenters who just might invite local choreographers to perform in their home countries.

Now in its fifteenth year, International Exposure will present the work of twenty-seven Israeli choreographers to over ninety guests including theater directors, festival directors, and journalists. These visitors will witness a stellar lineup boasting Israel’s most prominent dance companies as well as many independent choreographers at various stages of their careers. Some of the works on the program have been performed many times over the course of the year; others, such as the selections from the still in progress Curtain Up festival, are in their initial performances. Together, these dances offer a valuable retrospective on the past season and paint a representative picture of Israel’s vibrant contemporary dance scene.

International Exposure 2009 runs from Wednesday, December 9 until Sunday, December 13. Many of the concerts will be held at the Suzanne Dellal Centre and are open to the public, so local audiences can catch up on shows they missed during the last year. Other performances will be held at the Israel Classical Ballet Centre, the Nachmani Theater, Clipa Theater, and the Herzliya Theater, giving visitors a peek at the larger scale of dance venues in Israel.

Below is a day-by-day virtual tour of the festival with photographs and videos of many of the dances which will be performed. Want to learn more about the choreographers, companies, works, and festivals I mention? Click on the underlined names to see related articles published on Dance In Israel.

As we say here in Israel, צפייה מהנה – tzfiya mehana, pleasant viewing!

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Dana Ruttenberg’s “NABA” Features Eye-Opening Moves in the Ear

Posted on 20 April 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Duet from Dana Ruttenberg’s NABA

Curious about the back story of this duet?  On April 24th, you can head on over to the Inbal Dance Theater at Suzanne Dellal and click through NABA‘s audio guide to get some context and gain control over your viewing experience.

Before the dance premiered last month, I had a lively conversation with NABA‘s creator, Dana Ruttenberg, for a Jerusalem Post preview.  The resulting article – republished below – was initially printed in the JPost as “Choose your own dance adventure” on March 27, 2009.

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It was in a Madrid museum that inspiration struck choreographer Dana Ruttenberg.  With the audio guides temporarily unavailable, visitors quickly angered, shouting that they would not be able to enjoy or understand the collection without this aid that describes the artwork.

Startled by the mob’s outrage, Ruttenberg realized, “People need a guiding hand, even if it’s a physical thing. They need a way to connect to art.”  She began to muse about her own art form, wondering, “What if we had audio guides in dance?”

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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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