Tag Archive | "Ya’ara Dolev"

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Home Port Festival: History in the Making for the Choreographers Association

Posted on 13 March 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

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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 . . .

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Home Port Festival: 54 Choreographers in 33 Concerts at the Jaffa Port

Posted on 11 March 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

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The choreographers of the Amuta in Jaffa for the Home Port Festival.  Photo by Dorit Talpaz.

The first hint that something big was happening in Israel’s concert dance scene was an e-mail from Yossi Berg and Oded Graf about their upcoming performance schedule.  One listing mysteriously said that the duo was presenting Heroes at the Jaffa port for a choreographers festival.  Choreographers festival?  In Jaffa?  Many dance festivals here are annual ones, and I didn’t remember anything like that from last year.

Next I started to see some Facebook events popping up, with choreographers including Hillel Kogan, Noa Dar, Shlomit Fundaminsky, and Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor inviting friends to attend performances at the port during March.   My curiosity grew as the number of choreographers involved increased.

Finally, Yasmeen Godder pulled me over before class one day and told me I should look into a very exciting, unprecedented event: the Home Port festival.  As I talked more with her and followed a few leads, I found out that this was, indeed, something big.

The Home Port festival was initiated by the Amuta (which translates as the Choreographers Association or the Choreographers Society), an umbrella organization for fifty-four independent choreographers who draw from styles as varied as contemporary dance, flamenco, and belly dance.  Working outside of the country’s larger companies, these established choreographers are responsible for much of Israel’s flourishing concert dance scene – and all of them will present their creations in thirty-three different concerts over the next four weeks in a hangar at Jaffa’s port.

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Snapshots from International Exposure 2008

Posted on 07 February 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

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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. ))

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International Exposure 2008: Day 3

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.

See below for more videos and links.

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