Judging from my last electricity bill, summer is here. As air conditioners began to hum into the night and fans got moved closer and closer to their owners, the local dance community geared up for Tel Aviv’s annual performance marathon. The Hot Dance Festival kicked off a few days ago at the Suzanne Dellal Center and will run throughout the steamiest of days and the most humid of nights.

Each year, Hot Dance presents a range of shows, from major companies and independent local choreographers to guests from abroad. A combination of premieres, new and old works take the stages of the center, giving audiences a long list of events to choose from. Madridanza, the festival within the Hot Dance Festival, will once again bring the best of flamenco from near and far to the Israeli viewer in mid-July.

The festival’s program boasts an impressive list of premieres. Last week, Ruti Barnea and Maya Shtern each presented a premiere. The Batsheva Ensemble unveiled their new evening, a two-part program that included works by London-based choreographer Hofesh Shechter and Los Angelesbased dancer and choreographer Daniel Agami. Shechter contributed Uprising to the event, a powerful and celebrated work for seven male dancers. Agami’s Shula is danced by seven female dancers and was created especially for the ensemble. Agami and Shechter are both veterans of Batsheva and have made names for themselves as choreographers since leaving the company. The ensemble will continue to perform on the main stage this afternoon and tomorrow night.

Renaissance by Maya Levy and Hannan Anando Mars will also have its premiere during the festival. The piece has raised quite a few eyebrows of late, as the poster features six dancers in the nude. Renaissance is indeed performed sans costumes.

Talia Beck will premiere her newest work The Botany of Desire at the end of July. Beck danced for many years with the Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack Dance Company and went on to become the first choreographer invited to create work for the company. Saudade, which was presented alongside Pinto’s Rushes, was a deeply poetic work for five women. Now Beck has assembled a mixed cast of four dancers in what promises to be an unforgettable performance.

Ido Tadmor will use Hot Dance as an opportunity to show his loyal fans that his new role as artistic director of The Israeli Ballet has not forced him to hang up his spurs on stage. His mid-August premiere will include new works choreographed and danced by the celebrated performer/creator.

Special guests from abroad include the Black Light Theater Image of Prague. Black Light Theatre is a performance genre that has developed rapidly in recent years, largely in the Czech Republic. Using lighting and props to create optical illusions, this style is a tad circus, a touch theater and a bit of dance.

As part of their 20th anniversary celebrations, the Yael Flexer Company will visit Israel with a collaborative performance by Flexer and interactive media artist Nic Sandiland entitled Weightless. Flexer was born and raised in Israel and received her professional training in London. In 1993, Flexer established her troupe in England and has since maintained a presence in the UK and Europe.

New York-based Israeli choreographer Dana Katz returns to Tel Aviv with Prospect Minds. Katz is currently working towards a master’s degree in choreography at New York University. Her mid- August performance will mark her first engagement in Israel since she relocated to the Big Apple.

And no Hot Dance Festival would be complete without performances by the Kamea Dance Company, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, the Batsheva Dance Company and the Kolben Dance Company.

The Hot Dance Festival will run until the end of August. For more information about Hot Dance, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.

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