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Shades of Dance 2011: 16 New Choreographers at Suzanne Dellal

Posted on 11 August 2011 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Liron Ozeri’s Caravan.  Photo by Kobi Ben Sasson.

As Idit Herman stepped up to the podium in Yerushalmi Hall at the Suzanne Dellal Centre for the press conference announcing Shades of Dance (Gvanim Bemachol) 2011, she reflected on how meaningful this moment was for her.  Herman – who co-founded Tel Aviv’s adventurous Clipa Theater with Dmitry Tyulpanov – first received widespread acclaim as a creator in 1997 at Shades of Dance, a biennial platform for new choreographers.  Winning the top prize at the 1997 competition helped launch Herman and Tyulpanov’s career; indeed, the award enabled the partners to embark on their next project, and the momentum that built from that initial success progressed until Clipa became a well-known player in the country’s art scene.  Now Herman has come full circle, returning to Shades of Dance as artistic director and helping the next generation of choreographers get their start.

Shades of Dance, which takes place every two years and is now in its sixteenth edition, has undergone numerous changes since its inception in 1984.  The inaugural event was held in Ramla as a celebration of independent choreographers, boasting both concerts and workshops.  Moving to the Duhl Auditorium in Tel Aviv in 1987, the second Shades of Dance bore a closer resemblance to today’s platform with a competition structure inviting new choreographers to vie for a prize.  Shades of Dance found a long-term home at Suzanne Dellal in 1990, and here, it has been led by a string of artistic directors from Ellida Geyra to Naomi Perlov to Hanoch Ben Dror to Herman.  In some years, the choreographers were organized into bills based on themes, while in other years the programs had no titles.  Some editions of the festival included additional shows featuring works by choreographers still in high school.  Occasionally, more than one top prize was awarded, while in 2007 and 2009, Shades of Dance was not organized as a competition.  Amidst all this variation, the constant has been an emphasis on showcasing a broad spectrum of work by new artists who are, more often than not, as yet unknown to the larger public.

Idan Yoav’s Almost Human.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

This year’s Shades of Dance, to be held from September 7-10, will certainly fulfill this aim.  From the 90 aspiring choreographers who applied, Herman selected 16 artists whom she believed were “the bravest among them, who wanted to go all the way.”  These choreographers went through an intensive process, sometimes consulting with the artistic director about how to clearly bring out their works’ content and craft their visual design.  Herman has arranged the resulting dances into five programs according to theme, and noting the great push that the first prize once gave her and Tyulpanov, she is reinstating the competition model so that an award contributed by an anonymous donor may propel the most promising of these young voices to even greater heights.

The five different programs of Shades of Dance 2011 are as follows:

Sharon Vaisvaser’s 42 Inch.  Photo by Araleh.

Program Aleph: Pure Dance highlights virtuoso movement in Gil Carlos Harush’s TAKANA, Smadar Goshen’s Urbania, and Sharon Vaisvaser’s 42 Inch.  Program Aleph will be performed on September 7 at 20:00 and September 9 at 20:00 in Dellal Hall.

Ran Ben Dror’s Agassi Pallas.  Photo by Sarah Ben Dror.

Program Bet: Dream Big features work by four creators whom Herman described as “daring artists with chutzpah.” The program includes Idan Yoav’s Almost Human, Ran Ben Dror’s Agassi Pallas, Lee Meir’s Translation in the Body of the Text, and Yuval Goldstein’s Expensive Shit.  Program Bet will be performed on September 8 at 20:00 and September 10 at 22:30 in Dellal Hall.

Meytal Blanaru’s Aurora.  Photo by Julie Betrad.

Program Gimel: The Future is Now centers on work that Herman calls “futuristic dance” with refreshingly unfamiliar movement.  The bill is composed of Meytal Blanaru’s Aurora, Moran Yitzhaki Abergel’s Over me, and Lilach Livne’s Monday Larissa.  Program Gimel will be performed on September 7 at 17:30, September 8 at 22:30, and September 9 at 12:00 in Yerushalmi Hall.

Yoni Soutchy’s Ben.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Program Daled: Forbidden Fruit has been dubbed “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” by Herman and includes Yoni Soutchy’s Ben, Merav Cohen’s And When the Beast Returned, and Amit Zamir’s Buba (Doll).  Program Daled will be performed on September 7 at 22:30, September 8 at 17:30, and September 9 at 14:30 in Yerushalmi Hall.

Artour Astman’s Foosho.  Photo by Alexander Sherbakof.

Program Hey: Rare Animal showcases artists who, according to Herman, “researched the physical border between human and animal” and boast “rare physical abilities, almost beyond human.”  The bill features Liron Ozeri’s Caravan, Ido Batash’s Bread and Circuses Blood, and Artour Astman’s Foosho.  Program Hey will be performed September 9 at 22:30 and September 10 at both 17:30 and 20:00 in Yerushalmi Hall.

A closing ceremony will take place on September 10 at 23:30.

Tickets are available at 03-5105656 or online at the Suzanne Dellal Centre’s website.

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World Dance: Machol Olam 2011

Posted on 10 July 2011 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Video: Trailer for World Dance

This summer, dance from Israel has been crisscrossing the globe with tours and performances at major festivals. In recent weeks, with the five-day Contemporary Israeli Dance Week as part of LaMaMa Moves! in New York City and an extraordinary number of appearances by Israeli artists at the Montpellier Dance Festival in France, Israeli dance has triumphantly showcased its strengths on the world’s stages. Now, from July 11-28, Israel’s stages are about to get a dose of the world’s best dance in a brand-new festival called Machol Olam – World Dance.

Presented by the Suzanne Dellal Centre at the Wohl Amphitheater in Ganei Yehoshua, World Dance offers local dance fans an array of styles.  While Israeli contemporary dance makes an appearance on the celebratory opening night with an excerpt from Barak Marshall’s Rooster, and The Project (a joint production of Suzanne Dellal and the Israeli Opera) will perform Jacopo Godani’s Light Years, by and large, the amphitheater’s stage is ceded to those artists who draw on ballet and flamenco forms.


Drew Jacoby and Rubinald Frank. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

Indeed, it is the other component of the opening night’s mixed bill – the powerhouse dancers Drew Jacoby and Rubinald Pronk – who more aptly reflect the festival’s stylistic thrust.  Jacoby, a native of Idaho, and Pronk, who originally hails from Holland, met while members of Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City.  Realizing they had similar artistic ideas, they left the comfort of the company in 2007 for a more adventurous existence as freelance dancers; ever since, they have toured the world in works by a range of choreographers who have capitalized on the pair’s virtuosity and stunning stage presence.  For their first performance in Israel, Jacoby and Pronk will perform three duets: an excerpt from Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s One, Leo Mujic’s B Sonata, and Lightfoot Leon’s Sofly As I Leave You.


Video: Compas in Pavo Real

On July 13, the festvial continues with Pave Real, a co-production between Michal Natan’s COMPAS: The Israeli Flamenco Dance Company and Spanish flamenco dancer Miguel Angel Espino.  Live flamenco and Argentine tango music helps create the mood for the work, which is set in a dance club in the 1930s.


Video: The Israel Ballet in Don Quixote

Hewing closely to Marius Petipa’s original choreography as revised by Aleksander Gorsky, the Israel Ballet’s spirited production of Don Quixote is scheduled for July 16.  Valeria Martynyuk, a member of the famed Mariinsky Ballet since 2004, will dance the lead role of Kitri.


Video: Victor Ullate Ballet

World Dance contains a mini-festival, Madridanza, which kicks off with the Victor Ullate Ballet – Comunidad de Madrid on July 18-19.  Since 1988, the company has been an integral part of Madrid’s dance scene, but this is the first time the troupe is appearing in Israel.  Ullate and Eduardo Lao provide the choreography for El Arte de la Danza, a production that displays the strengths of the company’s dancers.


Video: Compania Flamenca Jose Porcel

Enlivening Madridanza on July 23-24 is Ballet Flamenco José Porcel.  The company will present Moralejas with choreography by Porcel, Rocio Molina, Isabel Bayon, Alfonso Losa, and Ruben Olmo.

Madridanza also boasts a Spanish Gala celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of mutual diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel.  Held on July 21, the concert will feature Porcel, dancers from Victor Ullate Ballet, Michal Natan and Miguel Angel Espino, Silvia Duran, and Gentian Doda and Dimo Kirilov in duets by Doda and Nacho Duato as well as the Ladino singing of Galit Giat.

After Madridanza finishes, World Dance continues with ballet luminaries from both sides of the Atlantic.  Tom Gold Dance – run by the former New York City Ballet soloist – presents a mixed bill on July 26.  Members of NYCB will perform George Balanchine’s Who Cares, Jerome Robbins’s In the Night, Petipa’s white swan pas de deux from Swan Lake, and Gold’s Tango.  The entire extravaganza draws to a close on July 28 with soloists and dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet under the direction of Bruno Bouché in Incidence Choreographique.  The program includes a new work by Nicholas Paul, the premiere of Arantxa Sagardoy’s Timeless, José Martinez’s Overture, an excerpt from William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Bouché’s Bless, which was created in July 2010 at Suzanne Dellal.  Ballet connoisseurs outside of Tel Aviv can catch the dancers from NYCB at the Herzliya Performing Arts Centre or the dancers from Paris Opera at Haifa’s Rappaport Hall on the evening of July 30.

For more information, view World Dance’s page on the Suzanne Dellal Centre’s website.  Tickets to performances at the Wohl Amphitheater are available through Suzanne Dellal’s box office: 03-5105656.

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International Exposure 2010: Video Preview

Posted on 05 December 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Nir Ben-Gal and Liat Dror’s Terminal B. Photo by Naama Nada.

Even though December has started and the shelves of Tel Aviv’s bakeries are lined with sufganiot, the jelly donuts traditionally eaten during Hanukkah, many of Tel Aviv’s residents are still walking around in tank tops and sandals. Unusually hot days and sunny skies have made it easy for the masses to pretend that summer never ended. But for those of us who follow the dance field, there is no denying that the calendar year is coming to a close. The tip-off is in the posters and fliers on display at Suzanne Dellal as well as the press releases and invitations received via e-mail, all announcing the arrival of the annual showcase of Israeli dance: International Exposure.

Nimrod Freed’s Flash.  Photo by Itamar Freed.

The exact shape and scope of International Exposure have shifted since its first incarnation sixteen years ago. For many years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it operated in conjunction with Curtain Up, the country’s premiere platform for new works by independent choreographers. The festival has stretched over a varying number of days and welcomed crowds both intimate and large. But throughout, the goal has remained the same: to display the wealth of works premiered over the past year to foreign arts presenters, dignitaries, and journalists in the hopes of sending Israeli dance around the world.

Orly Portal’s Gnawia

International Exposure 2010 will run from Wednesday, December 8 through Sunday, December 12, and the schedule features an enticing array of established companies and independent choreographers. Most of the programs will take place at the Suzanne Dellal Centre, but a number of concerts and informal showings will take place at other performance venues and studios. And while some of the events are offered only to the festival’s guests, many of the shows are open to the public.  Below is a guide to the events that are accessible to local dance lovers (and a sneak peek at International Exposure for those of you who are not in town).  All shows are at Suzanne Dellal unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, December 8

Video: Ohad Naharin’s Kyr/Zina

International Exposure starts out with the Batsheva Ensemble, the Batsheva Dance Company’s junior division, performing Ohad Naharin’s Kyr/Zina at 20:00.

Thursday, December 9

Rami Be’er’s Transform. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

International Exposure’s first full day kicks off at 11:00 with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Rami Be’er’s new Transform, which premiered during the international Tel Aviv Dance festival this past fall.

Curtain Up 2010 will be represented by three separate bills shown at 16:00, 19:00, and 22:30.

Video: Tamar Borer and Tamara Erde’s Ana

Thursday’s offerings also include a performance of Tamar Borer and Tamara Erde’s latest collaboration, Ana, at 20:30.

Friday, December 10

Friday’s programming includes a fair amount of moving about to different theaters in the area.

Video: The Project in Jacopo Godani’s Light Years.

At 14:00, The Project – a joint initiative by the Suzanne Dellal Centre and the Israeli Opera – will present a mixed bill at the Opera House in the heart of Tel Aviv.   The program includes Emanuel Gat’s Through the Center, Jacopo Godani’s Light Years, and Marco Goeke’s Supernova.

Video: Vertigo in Mana

Vertigo Dance Company presents a hit from last year, Mana, at the Givatayim Theater at 17:00.  Choreographed by Noa Wertheim, Mana premiered during the twentieth anniversary of the Curtain Up festival.

Video: Maria Kong in Miss Brazil

Maria Kong reprises its program from the Tel Aviv Dance festival, Miss Brazil, at 21:00 at Suzanne Dellal. The company’s four founders – Anderson Braz, Talia Landa, Leo Lerus, and Ya’ara Moses – collaborated on the first half of the bill, Miss, while guest choreographer Idan Cohen contributed the second half, Brazil.

Saturday, December 11

Saturday is primarily a day of mixed bills, titled Exposures, that feature both shorter dances in their entirety alongside excerpts from full-evening works.

Video: Yoram Karmi’s Particle Accelerator

Exposure 1, at 11:00, features Fresco Dance Group in an excerpt from the evening-length Particle Accelerator.  The bill is rounded out by Rachel Erdos’s OU’.

Video: Rachel Erdos’s OU’

Odelya Kuperberg’s Tzitzushka.

At 13:00, Exposure 2 will include Odelya Kuperberg’s Tzitzushka and a new work from Idan Sharabi.

Video: Liat Dror’s Terminal B

Nir Ben-Gal and Liat Dror bring their company from Mizpe Ramon to show Dror’s Terminal B at 14:00. 

Video: Mami Shimazaki’s Loop People

At 15:00, Mami Shimizaki’s Loop People shares the bill with Orly Portal’s Gnawia in Exposure 3.

Video: Kamea Dance Company in Tamir Ginz’s Srul

The day finishes at 22:30 with Exposure 4, featuring Kamea Dance Company in an excerpt from Tamir Ginz’s Srul along with Nimrod Freed’s Flash.

Sunday, December 12

Video: Sharon Eyal’s Bill

After a whirlwind of performances, International Exposure 2010 closes with Batsheva Dance Company in Sharon Eyal’s Bill.

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The Project: Repertory Returns to Israeli Dance

Posted on 14 November 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Video: The Project in Emanuel Gat’s Through the Center

Although repertory companies once dominated the Israeli modern dance scene, troupes showcasing work by one or two contemporary choreographers have reigned supreme from the 1990s onwards.  But repertory is returning to the Israeli concert stage with The Project, a cooperative venture by the Suzanne Dellal Centre and the Israeli Opera.

The Project.  Photo by Eyal Landesman.

The Project benefits from an experienced creative team.  Yair Vardi, director of Suzanne Dellal, and Hannah Munitz, general director of the Israeli Opera, are serving as artistic directors, and the manager is Mate Moray, a former soloist with the Israel Ballet who also directs the dance program in Matan.  More than 260 dancers auditioned, and 13 were selected to participate in The Project.

For the last several months, the newly formed group trained together in ballet and learned three dances by choreographers based in Europe: Emanuel Gat’s Through the Center, Jacopo Godani’s Light Years, and Marco Goeke’s Supernova.  Although the repertory draws on the clean lines and technical virtuosity of ballet, each work has a distinctive, contemporary feel.  Audiences can enjoy the spread of dance when The Project debuts at the Opera House in Tel Aviv on November 30.  A repeat performance will be held on December 10, also at the Opera House.

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International Exposure 2009: Showcasing Israeli Dance

Posted on 05 December 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Rooster

Barak Marshall’s Rooster.  Photo by Avi Avin.

As autumn turns into winter, there’s an interesting progression from one dance festival in Tel Aviv to the next. Tel Aviv Dance introduces Israeli audiences to top-notch dance from around the globe before giving way to Curtain Up, a celebration of new Israeli-made works. And then, in a few concentrated days of concerts, International Exposure attempts to introduce Israeli dance to the world by showcasing the past year’s bounty (including recently premiered Curtain Up works) to foreign arts presenters who just might invite local choreographers to perform in their home countries.

Now in its fifteenth year, International Exposure will present the work of twenty-seven Israeli choreographers to over ninety guests including theater directors, festival directors, and journalists. These visitors will witness a stellar lineup boasting Israel’s most prominent dance companies as well as many independent choreographers at various stages of their careers. Some of the works on the program have been performed many times over the course of the year; others, such as the selections from the still in progress Curtain Up festival, are in their initial performances. Together, these dances offer a valuable retrospective on the past season and paint a representative picture of Israel’s vibrant contemporary dance scene.

International Exposure 2009 runs from Wednesday, December 9 until Sunday, December 13. Many of the concerts will be held at the Suzanne Dellal Centre and are open to the public, so local audiences can catch up on shows they missed during the last year. Other performances will be held at the Israel Classical Ballet Centre, the Nachmani Theater, Clipa Theater, and the Herzliya Theater, giving visitors a peek at the larger scale of dance venues in Israel.

Below is a day-by-day virtual tour of the festival with photographs and videos of many of the dances which will be performed. Want to learn more about the choreographers, companies, works, and festivals I mention? Click on the underlined names to see related articles published on Dance In Israel.

As we say here in Israel, צפייה מהנה – tzfiya mehana, pleasant viewing!

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