Herzliya Performing Arts Center,
July 30

A small ensemble of nine dancers, affiliated with NYCB – one of the top ballet companies in the world – returned to Israel as part of the ambitious summer venture called WorlDance, a sister project alongside HotDance, organized both by Suzanne Dellal Center.

However the brochure clearly refrains from labeling the ensemble as representatives of the illustrious company and clarifies their position with the company. Reading the list later, explained the difference in dancing skills among the group; composed of only three active principals, one former principal while the rest are members of the basic Corp de Ballet.

The best of the evening’s repertoire was Who Cares (1970) by Balanchine, who many believe, was the greatest choreographer in the USA, perhaps along with post-modernist icon Merce Cunningham.

Set to captivating tunes by George Gershwin, the dance captures the spirit of the city; carefree urban dance, solidifying the image of NY with body perception based on the centrality of Broadway and musical films culture. Yet, what made Who Cares so delightful was the infusion of Balanchine’s intricate choreographic details.

Squeezed between Balanchine and Jerome Robbins was the delightful White Swan Pas De Deux, performed beautifully by Sara Mearns and well supported by Stephen Hanna.

Dancer Tom Gold, presenter of the ad hoc ensemble, choreographed Tango Fantasie which closed the program. It’s difficult to go wrong with Piazzola’s bunch of well trained dancers, but Gold managed just that. His attempt to maintain ties with the dangerous sensuality of the dark Tango and hold on to classical training idioms gave birth to a crossbreed tango that was neither.

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