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