I had spent many evenings during my Fulbright year taking contemporary dance classes with Shlomit Fundaminsky and Inbal Aloni at Noa Dar’s studio in Tel Aviv, but when I entered the building one night for a performance of Noa’s Tetris, it was as if I had walked into another world. When I viewed Arnica a month later in the more traditional environment of Tel Aviv’s Tmuna Theater, I not only saw Noa’s range as a choreographer but was struck by her powerful presence as a performer. After screening more of her work on DVD, I knew I had to meet the woman whose name graced the space where I so frequently took class!
We set up a meeting, and at long last I met Noa in her studio for a stimulating conversation. During our interview, Noa reflected on the development of her movement vocabulary, the evolution of her repertory, her choreographic process, and the relationship of her work to her upbringing on a kibbutz and to the larger Israeli society. It was a really rich discussion that, for me, further illuminated her well-crafted choreography while shedding even more light on the surrounding contexts of Israeli dance and Israeli culture. I hope it will open your eyes as well!
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Noa Dar is currently on tour with Arnica and Tetris in Frankfurt and Münster, Germany, through September 9th. For video clips and photos of these works and more, please see below.
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. ))
Posted on 22 January 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili
(Video: Hillel Kogan’s Everything)
It’s another jam-packed day of dance-watching!
Like Day 2 of International Exposure, Day 3 features two programs from the 2008 Curtain Up Festival. We’ll start our day at 2:00 p.m. with Curtain Up 4: Tomer Sharabi’s Monk, Hillel Kogan’s Everything, and Maya Stern’s Black Sea. At 5:00, Michael Getman’s Monday and Maya Levi’s Lifeline from Curtain Up 2 will complete the showings from this annual festival of premieres.
In between these two concerts, we’ll take an inside look into the Batsheva Dance Company. We’re invited to Studio Varda for an open rehearsal of Ohad Naharin’s Project 5, a work for five women that premiered in July.
The evening is full of options for adventurous International Exposure attendees. Across town at the Cameri Theater, Galia Fradkin’s La Mariposa is playing at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. At 8:00 and again at 10:00 p.m., Noa Dar’s Tetris will transform the choreographer’s central Tel Aviv studio into a most unusual performance space. And at the Suzanne Dellal Center, Studio A will be the venue for the Acco Dance Center’s showing of Simon Rowe’s Welcome to Valhalla! at 8:30 p.m.
The Choreographers Society will host a reception at 9:00, which will no doubt be a welcome break before a 10:00 p.m. concert of four more works. The Tel Aviv Dance Company will perform part of Ya’ara Dolev and Amit Goldenberg’s Tokyo Oranges, while the Nadine Bommer Dance Company will offer an excerpt from Bommer’s Manimation. Mami Shimazaki’s Chiki, Chiki 123 and Elina Pechersky’s Elina’s Muses round out the last program of the day.
Posted on 14 January 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili
(Video:The Noa Dar Dance Group in Tetris, a collaboration between Noa Dar and visual artist Nati Shamia-Opher)
I first wrote about Noa Dar’s Tetris (טטריס) in “From Studios to Stages” on my own blog and have edited an excerpt of that article for this post.
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It’s no wonder that Tetris (2006) premiered at the Acco Festival for Alternative Theater, or that it won a prize there. This collaboration between choreographer Noa Dar and visual artist Nati Shamia-Opher shapes the performance space into the most alternative set-up that I have ever witnessed, and it left its mark on my mind when I saw it last year.
I heard about Tetris soon after arriving in Israel and eagerly looked forward to seeing a staging in Tel Aviv at the Noa Dar Studio. I was familiar with the the chosen location because I had taken several contemporary technique classes there – but when I arrived for the performance November 10, 2007, I found the studio cleverly transformed. Tetris‘s treatment of the spectator-performer relationship in this redesigned space is so unique that I would like to describe a bit of it below: