Just over a year ago, the Israel Ballet dived head-first into the exciting, deep waters of contemporary ballet, a genre that took dance by storm in the Eighties after maverick creator William Forsyth redefined its borders.

In recent years the Israel Ballet had taken a few steps forward in terms of dance and production values, but remained stuck with classical repertoire or neo-classical works arranged and choreographed almost exclusively by company founder Berta Yampolsky, due to economic constrains.

In order to upgrade and update the repertoire, the company invited Itzik Galili last year as a test case. Galili, an ex- Batsheva dancer, moved to Holland 20 years ago and soon became recognized as a talented, prolific creator with dozens of works for a long line of important companies.

The prodigal son returned last year and conquered local audiences with Hikarizatto, a dynamic, very technical and demanding creation flooded with impressive lighting effects – by Yaron Abulafia – and hard-bitten, simplistic percussion music.

The dancers loved it; finally they had entered the 21st century. Soon he was invited back for a full evening that included last year’s piece and three shorter works on rather similar lines: lots of quick lifts, supported splits, swaying hips and Capoeira-based moves.

The best, more complex piece of the evening was And the Earth Shall Bear Again (2012), set to brilliant score by John Cage. In terms of dancing, Elise Caberra and Mikhail Kaniskin, guests from Berlin State Opera, that performed the short duet Mono Lisa, took the prize. Both are brilliant dancers, but Caberra’s elegant, energy conserving and effortless virtuoso moves marked the next benchmark the company should strive toward.

Perhaps next time, Galili will have a chance to present other facets of his creativity and wider range of his sensitivities. Welcome home.