Tag Archive | "Nadine Bommer"

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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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Israeli to Compete in Youth America Grand Prix Finals

Posted on 19 March 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Gaya Bommer.  Photo by Yossi Zveker.

Israeli contemporary dance has gained international renown over the last two decades, but the country’s small ballet scene is barely known abroad. Yet next week, one of the world’s most prestigious youth ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), will include an Israeli: the 11-year-old Gaya Bommer.

Gaya Bommer started dancing as a young child at her mother’s studio, the Nadine Bommer Dance Academy, and became more serious about her training at the age of 7. Now, under the tutelage of Nadine and ballet teachers Jay Augen and Roz Sobol, Gaya is bound for the YAGP in New York City. There she will perform one of Swanhilda’s variations from Coppélia as well as a contemporary solo choreographed by her mother in the hopes of placing in the top twelve at the Pre-Competitive level.

Gaya’s trajectory to this elite competition was a quick one. Though Gaya always displayed an aptitude for dance, it was not until this summer that her singular talent became evident. While accompanying Nadine, who was teaching in Europe, Gaya entered her first international competition and won first place. She was subsequently invited to the semifinals of the YAGP in Italy.

Even at this stage, the presence of an Israeli was of note.  Nadine recalls, “When we were in the semifinals, they even talked about it that Israel was in this competition for the first time. It was also a surprise for them . . . They come from each country of the world with a big group, because they don’t bring only dancers at the Pre-Competitive age; they also bring the other ages. And when they called [the group from] Israel to come and present ourselves, only Gaya came!”

In Italy, Gaya drew attention not just for her nationality but for her fine performance.  Impressed, the judges advanced her to the finals in New York, which begin on March 21. There she will compete against approximately one hundred other dancers in her age group.

Nadine, who herself has won awards for her choreography including the crowd favorite prize at the 2009 No Ballet Competition in Germany, hopes that Gaya will not only shine in her classical variation but stand out from the crowd in her contemporary solo, Wild Horses. “I think she’s very unique in her contemporary piece of mine . . . I made something that I think will be interesting for [people at YAGP] to see, because what we do in Israel is really different in contemporary dance,” Nadine reflects.

Regardless of the outcome, simply to participate in the YAGP finals is a major achievement for Gaya. “For us, for Israel to have a ballerina or a dancer in this competition . . . it’s a very big, big, big, huge thing!” Nadine marvels. “I’m happy she’s going to have this experience.”

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No Ballet and Lots of Israeli Dance

Posted on 12 November 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Sisters

Sisters by Michal Hersonski and Shira Ben Zeev.  Photo by Günter Krämmer.

Ballet is verboten at the No Ballet competition in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and applicants are encouraged to present innovative, adventurous choreography that speaks to the future rather than to traditional aesthetic sensibilities.  So it’s no wonder that Israel, with its growing field of contemporary dance, contributed a record six participants to this year’s select pool of competitors: Dafi Altbeb, Tami & Ronen Yitzhaki, Nadar Rosano, Reut Shemesh, Nadine Bommer, and Michal Hersonski & Shira Ben Zeev.

Michal Hersonski and Shira Ben Zeev

Michal Hersonski and Shira Ben Zeev. Photo courtesy of the choreographers.

It is a tribute to the strength of Israeli contemporary dance that two of these entries walked away with awards from this prestigious festival in October.  Michal Hersonski and Shira Ben Zeev were marked as exciting emerging choreographers when their duet, Sisters, debuted as part of Israel’s biennial Gvanim (Shades of Dance) Festival in 2007.  Now, though, the pair has clearly arrived: Sisters took third place on the international stage at No Ballet.  “We were thrilled to get the third prize because there were many countries, and there were good groups with very interesting and intelligent works,” Michal reflects.  “It was a very nice surprise for us.”

Manimation

Manimation by Nadine Bommer. Photo by Günter Krämmer.

Meanwhile, Nadine Bommer’s clevely comedic Manimation captured the hearts of No Ballet’s audience, who honored the work with the crowd favorite prize.

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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: 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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