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. 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 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.