Tag Archive | "training"

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Experiencing Yasmeen Godder’s Repertory Workshop

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Yasmeen Godder's "Two Playful Pink"

Yasmeen Godder and Iris Erez in Godder’s Two Playful Pink.  Photo by Tamar Lamm.

More than a year ago, I had the opportunity to take a week-long repertory workshop at Yasmeen Godder’s studio.  I found the intensive enriching both as a dancer and as a dance researcher, and I recounted my experience on The Winger on April 4, 2008; that article is posted below.

Now another batch of advanced dancers will have the chance to sink their teeth into Godder’s meaty material during a brand-new, year-long intensive.  Hosted by ActSearch and held at Godder’s studio in Jaffa, this program will build participants’ physical and expressive skills through a mix of technique classes, repertory workshops, and sessions with dramaturge Itzik Giuli.

Besides preparing for this exciting endeavor, Godder has been touring one of her latest works, Singular Sensation. Want to watch some of her work and see what’s in store for her new students?  There are lots of upcoming performances in several locations.  After one more performance of Singular Sensation at Suzanne Dellal on October 1, the production is traveling to Prague and Bern in October before touring Germany and Belgium in November.  For more information on the intensive workshop and the tour, check out the links at the end of this article.

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Yasmeen Godder’s Repertory Worskhop (April 2008)

It’s been more than seven months since I have learned new repertory, and while I’m loving my dance classes and improvisational projects, I do miss the process of absorbing and living in a piece of choreography.   So even though my body feels a bit tired now, my spirit is extremely happy after tasting a bit of Yasmeen Godder’s work!

I just finished a five-day workshop at her studio in Jaffa (at the south of Tel Aviv – technically, the city is Tel Aviv-Yafo).  Yasmeen is currently on tour in Europe with her production Sudden Birds, so two of her dancers led the intensive.  Each day began with Eran Shanny’s technique class, which was very similar to Yasmeen’s with its influences of release technique, yoga, Feldenkrais, and more.

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Gaga Class November 2008&h=57&w=100&zc=1&q=90

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Gaga: A Foreigner Explores Ohad Naharin’s Movement Language

Posted on 03 January 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Gaga Class November 2008

(Photo: Gaga class with Ohad Naharin, center, in November 2008.  I am “connecting to pleasure” on the left.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.)

(I originally wrote this post for The Winger on May 4, 2008, under the title, “Going Gaga All Over Again.”)

When I took my first Gaga class in fall of 2007, I was like an infant, tentatively trying out a new way of moving while also beginning to learn Hebrew. Everything was foreign to me, and processing a different framework for dancing in an unfamiliar language was a challenge.  Thankfully, my Gaga teachers were willing to pepper their instructions with English, and my Hebrew tutor helped me learn the frequently used terms which I wrote down after lessons.

Like a child, I steadily gained more mastery of my body and built up my communication skills; I acquired a physical language and, at least partially, the accompanying verbal language.  It’s not always easy to see progress in language acquisition – but when I successfully took two Gaga classes taught almost entirely in Hebrew on April 22, 2008, I was floating both figuratively and literally (to float, or “latzoof,” is one of the most common directions in Gaga).

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Americans in Israel: Cedar Lake in Tel Aviv Dance 2008

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in Ohad Naharin’s Decadance. Photo by Paul B. Goode

It used to be that Israeli companies like Batsheva Dance Company and the now defunct Bat-Dor toured to the U.S. with American repertory (( Batsheva Dance Company was founded in 1964 by the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, a patroness of Martha Graham.  Graham was the company’s artistic adviser, and the group performed not only several of her works but also dances by numerous Americans and Europeans – some of who became artistic directors during the group’s early decades. )).  But Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet’s appearance at the Tel Aviv Dance 2008 festival marks a turning point in dance history: this American company is bringing Israeli repertory to Israel.  Cedar Lake’s programs will include excerpts from Decadance by Ohad Naharin, Batsheva’s artistic director.

Last year I peeked into Cedar Lake’s rehearsal process with Naharin by watching Tomer Heymann’s documentary, Out of Focus.  Whereas the Batsheva dancers take class daily in Gaga, a movement practice developed by Naharin, Cedar Lake’s dancers had to move away from their ballet background and immerse themselves in a dramatically different method of training and working.  This shift required the dancers to trade a traditional emphasis on external appearances for an intense process of personal and physical exploration – a major challenge for dancers reared and rooted in the ballet studio, with its ever-present mirror.

But Cedar Lake is explicitly billed as a contemporary ballet company.  Its repertory is not drawn from 19th century ballet classics but from a range of modern-day works, some of which blur the borders between genres of dance.  Thus the dancers that tackled this challenge did so with within the company’s framework of versatility and physical facility, which is beautifully captured in this video below:

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