Founded in Jerusalem about 22 years ago, Vertigo Dance Company sits comfortably in the solid mainstream of Israel’s dance scene, after successfully producing a long line of attractive productions.
Its blooming process was not meteoric but rather stable and reliable, and now, it seems to be on the edge of international attention with an impressive line of invitations to perform abroad, following their previous work Vertigo20.
Reshimo draws its inspiration from the Kabbalah. In the spiritual Jewish text, Reshimo means the impression of something after it’s gone, the revelation of the emptiness left behind, yet maintains a trace of memory where the passion for the future may awaken.
Dance, unfortunately, is not equipped to deal with detailed abstract concepts, but it certainly can suggest states of mind, moods and temperaments. Choreographer Noa Vertheim, Vertigo’s artistic director, conveyed that well, and developed flowing movements with a meditative air that hints at her spiritual sources.
Having said that, Reshimo, is perhaps a lukewarm example of Vertheim’s craft, though it includes all of her stylistic traits: lovely movement quality, pleasant disposition, well crafted compositions, and ritualistic themes. It’s Achilles’ heel was mostly the diluted energy in most actions and overall ambiance on stage, which was also undermined by unattractive and counterproductive costume choices and lighting design, that did little to support, enhance or interpret artistic intentions, or pick up the action when needed. For that, it seemed to function of some plateau, making it hard to detect the complexity or layering of the work.
Despite the restrained register of the choreography in terms of energy and references, the company of eight dedicated performers looked good as an ensemble, with one light-footed dancer in particular, Marija Slavec, who stood out. The one and only musician, Ran Bagno, as always, supplied terrific musical solace.