Collaboration between Israeli and Taiwanese choreographers during the pandemic

 Ravid Abarbanel and Chang Chien-kuei (photo credit: Embassy of israel in Taiwan)
Ravid Abarbanel and Chang Chien-kuei
(photo credit: Embassy of israel in Taiwan)

The following report was written in 2021, in the midst of the Corona pandemic:

Through the initiative of the Israeli diplomatic mission in Taiwan, a collaboration took place between Israeli choreographer Ravid Abarbanel and Taiwanese choreographer Chang Chien-kuei to create a video clip "Between Taiwan and Israel." The video presents a joint dance piece in which they dance simultaneously in Taiwan and Israel, with the message that despite the coronavirus, they have found a way to continue creating together even from a great distance.

 The two choreographers met at a dancers' conference in the US, after which Chang invited Ravid to come and work with him in Taiwan. Due to Covid-19, she was prevented from attending. At the request of the Israeli mission, the two created the dance piece "Between Taiwan and Israel," and the Israeli mission dedicated it in a written message to mark Israel's 73rd Independence Day in 2021.

Ravid Abarbanel (Credit: DGANIT ERTMAN)Ravid Abarbanel (Credit: DGANIT ERTMAN)

 The video was projected every 10 minutes daily for a week on a vast screen in the center of Taipei's Ximending vibrant nightlife district, and it received many views on social media channels as well. We are in regular contact with the two choreographers and hope for Ravid's arrival in Taiwan in the near future and the continued joint creation of the parties.  

Galit Cohen Caspi, cultural attaché at the Israeli legation in Taiwan: "During the Covid-19 lockdowns that prevented – and still prevent – teachers from Taiwan and Israel from meeting and creating together, we needed to be more creative and think outside the box. Choreographer Ravid

Abarbanel was invited by Taiwanese choreographer Chang Chien-kuei to come to Taiwan and participate in his choreography, which was not possible. To my delight, when I proposed the idea of a virtual joint creation, Ravid and Chang immediately picked up the gauntlet, and the wonderful result proves that art and creativity have no limits."

Ravid Abarbanel said of the project: "Chang Chien-kuei and I connected in an inspiring physical way. He asked me to participate in a piece he created for students, and we've been in touch ever since. I was invited to take part in a residency with him in the dance company, but unfortunately, because of the Corona situation, it was not possible. Instead of a physical encounter, we created a virtual space where we could meet, and that's how we created the video together. He is in Taiwan, and I am in Israel. We are geographically distant but feel close."

Chang Chien-kuei added: "The pandemic has limited our interactions with one another, but it will never limit the possibilities of our imagination."

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