Choreographers celebrating before the opening of the Home Port festival. Photo by Dorit Talpaz.
This may sound a bit extravagant, but I don’t think I am exaggerating. Last night I witnessed dance history – and I hope that the opening night of the Home Port Festival (and the festival itself) will go down in the books not as an isolated moment in time but as the recognized beginning of a new stage, figuratively and literally, for Israel’s independent choreographers.
The excitement was palpable when I arrived at the festival last night, and the energy only grew as more people streamed into the enormous hangar. While Oy Division played a rousing klezmer set, I mingled with choreographers, dancers, administrators, government officials, dance writers, and dance fans. Everyone seemed to recognize that this collective celebration of individual creation was a momentous occasion. The dream for a permanent home for the Amuta‘s artists, though still not fully realized, no longer seemed like an impossibility; indeed, the possibilities of what the dance scene would gain in the next weeks at Home Port emboldened the choreographers to dream anew.
After the enthusiastic crowd overflowed the risers, a one-of-a-kind dance marathon commenced. 39 choreographers from the Amuta presented a total of 33 solos and 3 duets, and 38 of the choreographers themselves delivered electrifying performances.
My intention was simply to watch and enjoy, but as each piece sparked snippets of ideas, I started scribbling furiously. What follows is my ode to the Amuta, a series of one-line impressions from each selection. Please read on . . .