The coming home party

The need to be in Israel and the desire to continue exploring further afield, is in the center of choreographer Dana Katz’s new work.

By ORI J. LENKINSKI
August 1, 2013 10:46
3 minute read.
Choreographer Dana Katz’s new work

Choreographer Dana Katz’s new work. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Two summers ago, Dana Katz hosted a big going-away soiree in the shape of a performance at the Suzanne Dellal Center. For her send-off to New York City, Katz erected a boxing ring in the courtyard of the south Tel Aviv dance hub in which she and a fellow dancer performed BoomBox.

Next week, Katz will close the circle with two “I’m back” (or at least back for now) performances during the Hot Dance Festival and at Warehouse 2 in the Jaffa port.

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Having recently completed a master’s in choreography at New York University, Katz returned to Israel in mid-June to put together Prospect Minds, which will premier here in Israel.

“I began the process in New York with different dancers,” she said in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post. Since her arrival in Israel Katz has not had a moment’s rest, she explained. “The piece I made in New York was a shorter version that dealt with the same questions that Prospect Minds deals with, but it was very different.”

For her Israeli engagement, Katz called on veteran dancers Eldad Ben-Sasson and Keren Hoffman.

The process began on the telephone. “We had several conversations while I was still in New York. Since I arrived, we’ve been working very intensively. The dancers gave so much of themselves, they are true collaborators in this process and we are still working,” she said.

The piece deals with the notion of time through the lens of the era we live in. “We began by looking at the human responses of the people that took part in the process. I think we started by talking about the unending quest to find answers to questions that plague us during our everyday lives, the ‘what ifs?’ and ‘should, would, could.’ There is this real need to constantly chase down answers to these questions and, I find, it makes life difficult.

“Then we began to physically investigate the need for a simple human contact. We tried to open a dialogue... about contact in this day and age. In one way, our world is getter easier and more convenient and yet there is an underlying difficulty that seems to grow with time. What we came to, in the end, was the need to focus on the here and now. Each of the three of us offers a different entry point into the world of time and each of us brought a lot of our personal lives into the process.”

In Katz’s Here and Now there exists a tension between the need to be in Israel and the desire to continue exploring further afield.

Since arriving in New York, Katz has had the opportunity to present work in some of the city’s most acclaimed spaces such as La Mama Theater and Tisch Theater. In September she will travel back to New York, where she has been invited to present a new work at the 92nd Street Y. She is also one of the organizers of the upcoming Out of Israel Festival at the same space.

“Previously, the event focused on inviting Israeli artists who were living in New York or visiting to present work. This year, we decided to expand the event to include workshops with the artists.

I will be teaching there alongside several talented artists. So without a doubt that there is a lot to do in New York. But,” she smiled, “I’m hoping that there will be a lot to do here in the near future as well.”

Prospect Minds will run at the Suzanne Dellal Center on August 13 (www.suzannedellal.org.il) and at Warehouse 2 on August 22 (www.choreographers.org.il)


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