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Arkadi Zaides: Community Connections and Stunning Solos

Posted on 13 September 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Arkadi Zaides and company

Arkadi Zaides and dancers at Majdal Shams.  Photo by Itay Weiser.

This article was first published as “Creative Connections” in the Jerusalem Post on July 24, 2009.  The concert I describe below is already over, but audiences in China, Taiwan, and Japan can catch the same program when Arkadi Zaides and Iris Erez go on tour in October.

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Creative Connections

Arkadi Zaides is a world traveler.  A youthful Zaides made aliyah from Belarus in 1990 and, over the last decade, his talents as an eye-catching dancer and cutting-edge choreographer led him on a series of foreign tours.  So perhaps it’s not surprising that back in Israel, Zaides is focusing his creative energies on bringing worlds together through dance.

Sometimes this is a matter of linking members of diverse communities in the dance studio.  For several months last year, Zaides spent his weekends in the Golan Heights at the Druze village Majdal Shams as part of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ Creation and Community Initiative. There he taught workshops to a theater group and presented several of his recent works.  “The project introduced them to contemporary dance and dance theater,” Zaides recalls.  “It was a very unique meeting with very unique people.”

Now Zaides has received another generous NIS 50,000 grant from Teva for a project at Rabeah Murcus Studio for Dance and Movement in Kfar Yasif, an Arab village near Acre.  Zaides explains, “[The studio] is quite a unique initiative in the Arab sector in Israel; it’s the one and only studio for contemporary dance.”  Zaides plans to teach classes and workshops and will invite students to observe his artistic process as he rehearses a new work.

It’s not every up-and-coming choreographer that engages in these community projects, but Zaides states emphatically, “I just believe it’s a must right now.  Culture can bring people together and introduce the different populations to each other – and also, it’s a form of exchange.”

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International Exposure 2008: Day 4

Posted on 23 January 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

(Video: Barak Marshall’s Monger)

Just like the dancers, the audience is moving around a lot today at International Exposure.

Our day kicks off at 11:00 a.m. in a high energy fashion with Rami Be’er’s 60 Hz, performed by the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in the Suzanne Dellal Hall.  Afterwards, we’ll walk across the plaza to the Inbal Dance Theater for Sahar Azimi’s Torus.  Then we move to the complex’s third theater, the Yerushalmi Hall, for the Other Dance Project: Yuval Shalem’s If Not a Flag, Then a Sandwich, Lazaro Godoy’s Jugo de Limon, Gyula Csakvari’s Amarili, and Eyal Munteanu’s Limits.

For our next move, we’ll head over to the reception tent for a traditional Kabbalat Shabbat, the welcoming of the Sabbath.   After this brief break, we’re on the go again.  Our next stop is Kibbutz Yakum for a performance by the Israel Ballet; the company will be performing Xta and Ni-Na by artistic director Berta Yampolsky.

Back in Tel Aviv, we’ll walk through Neve Tsedek to the Tavi Dresner Gallery for Solo Colores by Arkadi Zaides.  And finally, we’ll end up right back where we started: the Suzanne Dellal Center’s main hall.  Barak Marshall’s Monger, which premiered at this year’s Tel Aviv Dance festival, will complete our busy day.

See below for more video and links.

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