Tag Archive | "Oren Laor"

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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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Snapshots from International Exposure 2008

Posted on 07 February 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Hydra

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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Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor: An Interview with Dramatic Dancemakers (Podcast)

Posted on 09 December 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili

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

(Oren Laor and Noga Golan in the “Interlude” from Duets; photo by Gadi Dagon)

(This podcast was initially produced for Israel Seen, and the text is amended from my writing there and on The Winger.  You can subscribe to this podcast using the iTunes software by clicking on “Podcasts (RSS)” at the top of this website or following this link to the podcast feed.)

Among the many choreographers premiering work at this year’s Curtain Up Festival are Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor.  With Niv’s background in dance and Oren’s training in theater – and with the special synergy between them – their work has the power to probe the depths of human relationships and prompt laughter at the lighter moments of life.  In the pair’s Curtain Up 2008 offering, Post-Martha, they tackle Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with their trademark dramatic flair, communicative skill, and choreographic honesty.

I hadn’t been in Israel very long when I first saw Niv and Oren’s Duets last fall, but even after many months and many, many more concerts, this piece remains one of my favorites.  I immediately thought of this collaborative team when I started planning for my podcast, and I was thrilled when Niv and Oren agreed to be my first interview subjects last winter.

Like true Tel Aviv-ians, we met at a cafe for an engaging chat in January 2008.  We discussed Niv’s training in dance and Oren’s background in theater, their collaborative creative process, and their choreographic treatment of relationships and gender issues in Duets and Jorona.

To listen my conversation with Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor, click on the podcast player above or subscribe to the podcast and download it to iTunes.  To see more fantastic photographs and video clips of Niv and Oren’s work, keep reading the post below.  And if you are in Israel, you can attend Curtain Up 2 in Tel Aviv (Saturday, December 13) or in Jerusalem (Thursday, December 18) to catch their Post-Martha!

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Israel’s Curtain Up Festival: “Another Op’ning, Another Show” for Contemporary Dance

Posted on 30 November 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili


(Hillel Kogan’s “Everything” will premiere in the 2008 Curtain Up Festival)

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“Another Op’ning, another show
In Philly, Boston, or Baltimo’
A chance for stage folks to say hello
Another op’ning of another show.”
-Lyrics by Cole Porter for the musical Kiss Me Kate

It’s time for another op’ning of another show – again, and again, and again (and again) – in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem this month. The 2008 Curtain Up Festival will bring 4 programs worth of premieres by independent choreographers to the Suzanne Dellal Center and The Lab (HaMaabada) during December.  Michael Getman, Maya Levy, Rachel Erdos, Tomer Sharabi, Maya Stern, and Hillel Kogan will each present new works, as will the collaborative teams of Sahar Azimi and Odelya Kuperberg; Yossi Berg and Oded Graf; and Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor with the participation of Ronit Ziv.  The entire festival opens at Suzanne Dellal on December 3 with a special presentation of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak‘s Shaker, which recently toured the United States.

For a listing of this year’s Curtain Up performances in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, please visit Dance In Israel’s Events page.  You can read both Helen Kaye’s preview and Ori J. Lenkinski’s preview of the festival in the Jerusalem Post and view the Suzanne Dellal Center’s Hebrew program of Curtain Up.  Finally, I’ll leave you with “Another Op’ning, Another Show,” which I wrote for my own website on November 20, 2007 after attending last year’s Curtain Up Festival.  Make sure to click below and view the rest of the post; there’s another video to whet your appetite!

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