Tag Archive | "Ofer Amram"

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Acco Fringe Theater Festival: Alternative Theater (and Dance)

Posted on 04 October 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Some of the entries in this year’s competition, including Ofer Amram’s physical theater work Sanatorium

I took a detour from writing strictly about dance when I accepted an assignment to cover the Acco Fringe Theater Festival for the Jerusalem Post.  Though I’ve never been to this event, I’ve heard that it’s one of the most adventurous and intriguing festivals in the country – and I was certainly intrigued by how many programs in this theater festival are movement based.

Some shows are billed as dance theater (Yoav Bertel and Avigail Rubin’s A Compensating Experience), physical theater (Ofer Amram’s Sanatorium), or motion theater (the group Makhol).  Others are outright dance works, like the Acco Dance Greenhouse ensemble’s Neuronirvana, which was shown this summer as part of the Maholohet festival at Suzanne Dellal.

The international selections also feature a good dose of movement.  3Some, from Germany, was created by Israeli choreographer and actor Nir De-Wolf with Knut Berger, while The Vengeance Cell is by Japanese butoh artists Taketeru Kudo and Jun Wakabayash.  The Teatro Pavana street theater group from the Netherlands includes stilt-walkers, and the German group Grotest Maru employs physical theater techniques in The Waters of Acco – A Dance on the Shore.

To learn more about this year’s Acco Fringe Theater Festival, read my article below, which was initially published in the Jerusalem Post.

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Alternative Acco

In the midst of the Jewish holiday of Succot, modern-day Israelis added a new celebration.  Just as the ancient Israelites journeyed to Jerusalem for the holiday, hundreds of thousands of hungry culture-goers flock annually to the old city of Acco during Hol Hamoed to witness the latest harvest of alternative theater.  Now in its 30th season, the Acco Fringe Theater Festival is as adventurous as ever with 450 diverse performances challenging typical notions of theater.

Smadar Ya’aron, who is co-directing the festival for the first time with Moni Yosef, explains, “We are looking for pieces of theater which propose another approach, whether it’s visually, or concerning the content or other aspects of the theatrical event . . . What is also important for us is that the theater will be daring . . . To dare to do a step, to dare to say something which is maybe not so popular, to dare to try and explore.”

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International Exposure Sends Israeli Dance Around the World

Posted on 13 February 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

"Monger" by Barak Marshall

(Photo: Barak Marshall’s Monger has been invited to tour abroad.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.)

Ynet, the website for the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, announced this week that International Exposure has already yielded invitations for several Israeli choreographers to travel abroad.  I’ve gleaned the following information from Ynet’s Hebrew article.

Barak Marshall’s production, Monger, proved to be a big hit among the visitors to International Exposure.  It will tour to Spain, Switzerland, Croatia, and Romania this spring.  The dance will later be shown at the Joyce Theater in New York and at the 2010 Dance Umbrella Festival in London.

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Snapshots from International Exposure 2008

Posted on 07 February 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili


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 2

Posted on 21 January 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

(Video: Ov by Renana Raz and Ofer Amram)

The opening night of International Exposure whetted my appetite for a festival full of Israeli contemporary dance, and now I’m ready for the first whole day of  programming.  And it will indeed be a whole day – events are running from 11:00 a.m. until about 10:oo p.m.!

I saw Yasmeen Godder’s Singular Sensation when it premiered in June, and I’m eager to view this intense work again when it starts our morning. Next on the program is dance scholar Gaby Aldor, who will present a lecture on dance in Israel.  I often found myself reading her articles as I began my research on the subject, so I’m quite excited to hear her speak.

Today will also feature two mixed bills from the annual Curtain Up Festival, which is one of the main platforms for premieres in Israel.  In this year’s Curtain Up 3, we’ll see two collaborations: Bloody Disco by Yossi Berg & Oded Graf, and Reversi by Odelya Kuperberg & Sahar Azimi.  Tonight we’ll also view Curtain Up 2, with It Rains Inside (Rachel Erdos), Post-Martha (Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor with the participation of Ronit Ziv), and La femme 1, La femme 2 (Ronit Ziv).

In between the two selections from the Curtain Up Festival, we’ll be treated to a showing of Ov by Renana Raz & Ofer Amram.  Inspired by S. Ansky’s play The Dybbuk, Ov premiered at the Israel Festival in June.   I attended its first performance in Jerusalem and am looking forward to seeing it here in Tel Aviv at the Inbal Hall!

See below for more video and links.

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