Israeli choreographer Orly Portal took center stage at the 20th edition of the Belgrade Dance Festival in March.
For the past two decades, the most renowned Israeli artists, including the Batsheva Dance Company, the Vertigo Dance Company, Roy Assaf, Adi Boutrous, and Inbal Pinto, have participated in the festival offering a glimpse of the diversity of the Jewish State’s dance scene to the Serbian public.
The 2023 edition presented two performances of the choreography “Fakarouni” by Orly Portal, performed by the Orly Portal Dance Company. Founded in 2009, the company is recognizable for the unique mix of ancient dances incorporated into more contemporary forms of expression. Dances of Moroccan Berber tribes, Arab folklore and melodies enchant the viewers over and over.
Portal’s website describes Fakarouni as “a dance of passion, a temperamental ritual revealing the intimate connection between the temporal body and enduring love.” It is Portal's first choreography for male dancers accompanied by a female voice.
“Gender boundaries blur as ancient power games are explored in depth, forming a new definition of authoritarian masculinity and breakthrough femininity,” the website adds.
Founded and directed by Aja Jung, the Belgrade Dance Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, the City of Belgrade, the Embassies and the Cultural Centers of the participating countries (including the Embassy of Israel), as well as the EU Delegation in Serbia.
Over the course of the years, the festival has brought to the Serbian audience almost 500 choreographic works. Every year, some 20,000 people attend its performances as well as dozens of members of the press. In 2023, the festival featured 17 performances by choreographers and dancers from all over the world. Both performances of “Fakarouni” were sold out.