Jerusalem is a city unlike any other. The intricate stitching that
connects people of different faiths, ages, ethnicities and dispositions can be
found only among the ancient stones of Israel’s capital. The artistic landscape
of Jerusalem is equally eclectic. Though Tel Aviv is generally accepted as the
cultural center of the country, Jerusalem’s tightknit set of artists have begun
to compete for the country’s attention.
Comprised of many unique voices,
Jerusalem’s dance community is experiencing a resurgence. While the familiar
creators continue to contribute their interpretations to the city’s repertoire,
a number of new names are rising amid the white stones. With the establishment
of the Machol Shalem organization and a new choreographer’s course hosted by
Hazira Performance Art Arena, up-and-coming choreographers have more reasons
than ever to put down roots in Jerusalem.
Next week, the Jerusalem Dance
Theater (JDT) will premiere its newest work, Second Count, by choreographer Lior
Lev. Though the creative process of this work took place in Jerusalem, the
festive premiere will be held in Neveh Tzedek’s Suzanne Dellal
Years ago, Lev took his first dance steps in the Bat Dor Academy
in Beersheba. He eventually joined the Bat Dor Dance Group, moving north to Tel
Aviv. After winning the prestigious Mia Arbatova Ballet Competition, Lev was
picked up by Scapino Ballet of Holland.
From Holland he moved south to
the Stuttgart Ballet, where he spent eight years as a company member and
It was during his time in Germany that Lev began to experiment
In the years since his first moments at the helm of an
artistic process, Lev has shown his work in various festivals around Europe. In
Israel, he has choreographed for the Kamea Dance Company in Beersheba and has
been featured at the Karmiel Festival.
Second Count is a landmark in
Lev’s successful career. After spending more than two decades abroad, Lev
returned to Israel for an extended time to work with the dancers of the
An ensemble piece, Second Count focuses on the desire to belong to a
group while maintaining one’s identity.
Navigating between physical group
segments and delicate duets, Lev offers a wide range of social and emotional
situations. Music by Amon Tobin, Bjork and Appleseed creates an atmospheric
backdrop for the interchanges on stage.
Lev’s movement language draws on
classical technique mixed with the freedom of contemporary dance.
he was born and raised in Israel, Lev’s choreographies are clearly different
from those of his local contemporaries. Lev’s stress on long lines and flawless
technique are a departure from most of the dance being presented on Israeli
stages. His composition reveals a European sensibility, surely gained during his
many years abroad.
The Jerusalem Dance Theater is a repertory company
dedicated to presenting a wide variety of styles to its audience. In recent
years, the JDT has become a beacon to foreign dancers, some of whom will perform
in Second Count. Founded by Tamara Mielnik, the JDT has been operating in
Jerusalem since 1985. Its repertoire includes classical ballet pieces for the
entire family, as well as contemporary works by both young and established
The premiere of Second Count will take place on May 9 at
the Suzanne Dellal Center. For more information and tickets, visit