Vertigo Dance Company – Vertigo 20 Suzanne Dellal, January 31

Jerusalem-based dance company Vertigo is celebrating its 20th season with a new production, and opening an extensive local tour.

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Vertigo and its founder, choreographer Noa Wertheim, are following in the footsteps of Ohad Naharin, and to a certain degree Rami Be’er, with the new work, hand picking fragments of previous works, uprooting them from their original contexts and craftily re-joining them into a cohesive and relevant new artistic statement. Creating a new work by reassembling hand-picked sections from older pieces might seem easy enough, but it’s not.

Vertigo 20 is a well deserved look back at two decades of dance and investigation the result of which has been the creation of one of the finer Israeli dance companies, with an original and unique voice. One must salute the achievements of Vertigo, which traveled the hard, high road to reach its destination.

The work showcased its chief characteristics and intrinsic energies, its elegance and esthetics, relying on a fine cadre of dancers.

The first impression was overwhelmingly beautiful; a grey, somewhat surreal setting, the stage perimeters defined by walls, two dancers with piled-high hairdos move in perfectly synchronized slow motion, gravitating downwards, with spread knees, pushing the pelvis forward and arching their backs.

The haunting music, by long-time Vertigo partner Ran Bagano, endows the phrases with a reflective mood. More than ever, one was aware of Wertheim’s extensive and quite original use of diagonals, which gives each composition that delicate, off-balance touch, connecting earthly physicality and spiritual aspiration.

At its best, her dance theater verges on the mystic.

Having said all that, Vertigo 20 lost some momentum toward the end. Several fragments were tied down too loosely before they were fully explored, some were too contrived. But even so, the evening, loaded with beauty, originality and spirituality, enriched our already diverse dance field.

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