(photo credit: Courtesy)
Quite miraculously, contemporary choreographer Yoram Karmi took a Jerusalem-based small, rickety ballet company, directed by Nadia Timofeeva, and turned it against all odds, into a solid, quite pleasing group of dancers, for the first time.
On its better days, the troop looked like a studio performance with obscure promise, until Karmi, the founder-director of Fresco Dance Company, got commissioned to do Clara, set to Clara Schumann’s score.
Since old habits die hard, the company opened with three duets before
the intermission, an unnecessary introduction for the real reason to
attend the performance.
The first few minutes of Clara were misleading. They looked as if Karmi
tiptoed hesitantly into this ambitious production, but soon he loosened
up, expanded his compositional flow, and enriched the structure and its
use of space. Using fluent ballet-based technique, he brewed modernist
work and managed to make the nine dancers dance energetically, with
bravura and flair and utter commitment for the team, instead of merely
executing steps, worrying only about their own look.
Supported by the mischievous imagination of Maor Zabar, designer
extraordinaire of the most colorful and funkiest clothes, and highly
experienced lighting designer Shai Yehudai, Karmi found a way to take
the young dancers on a fast, highly demanding track, as far as they
could, making them look brighter than ever before. He also found a
delicate equilibrium between the sensitive musical interpretations, his
delightfully subtle humor, and managed to infuse all the elements into
solid, artistically cohesive art work that was enjoyable, hugely
surprising and very satisfying.