Israeli Embassy collaborates in developing modern dance at CIRCE Tbilisi

 BE-CIRCED invitation (photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Tbilisi)
BE-CIRCED invitation
(photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Tbilisi)

Georgia has always excelled in visual and performing arts, and it is renowned for its classical ballet and traditional folk dancing. However, the contemporary dance scene is in its early stages.

Georgian choreographers and dancers are experimenting with new techniques and means of expression. Accordingly, in recent years, the Israeli Embassy in Tbilisi has launched an ongoing series of artistic collaborations with “Circe,” one of Georgia’s few contemporary dance & theatre platforms.

The first event, hosted by the German Goethe Institute in Tbilisi, was a public screening of “Mr. Gaga,” an award-winning film documenting the ground-breaking work of world-famous Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. This was followed in May 2021 by a two-day Israeli dance film festival, curated and organized jointly with Maka Kiladze, director of Circe.

VR art in Tbilisi (Credit: Embassy of Israel in Tbilisi)VR art in Tbilisi (Credit: Embassy of Israel in Tbilisi)

The next project organized by the Embassy was even more ambitious. The Embassy commissioned a special choreography by Saar Harari, Gaga’s Artistic Director, and Maka Kiladze, a multidisciplinary artist and cultural manager living in Tbilisi, inspired by Hebrew and Georgian alphabet letters, which was conceived for the film “Be Circled.” The premiere took place at “Khidi,” one of Tbilisi’s most popular nightclubs, in March of this year, and the film was subsequently screened in several European festivals, winning a special award in Frankfurt.

Following this project, the Embassy created the “Tel Aviv Bauhaus Festival” as one of the cultural highlights of the 30th anniversary of Israeli – Georgian bilateral diplomatic relations. Coinciding with an exhibition and public lectures, Circe produced yet another dance film to choreography by Michael Getman – “Inked,” inspired by the Bauhaus architecture and the Hebrew scroll of the mezuzah.

The latest project developed by the Israeli Embassy was the “Cintamani” exhibition, which included the virtual reality installation “Nightsss,” conceived in cooperation with the MASH Dance House Jerusalem. This was the first time VR technology was incorporated into a dance installation in Georgia. The inspiration and technology were the outcome of the annual “Israeli Dance Exposure” event organized by the Division of Cultural Diplomacy at the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Israeli Ambassador to Georgia, Ran Gidor (Credit: Embassy of Israel in Tbilisi)Israeli Ambassador to Georgia, Ran Gidor (Credit: Embassy of Israel in Tbilisi)

Israeli Ambassador to Georgia, Ran Gidor, said, “It’s exciting to witness a whole new generation of young Georgian choreographers, performers and dancers finding their unique voices and sources of inspiration through an ongoing dialogue with their Israeli peers. It feels like a genuinely ground-breaking type of artistic collaboration, and our Embassy is extremely proud to be able to facilitate this.”

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