Israeli Dancers Take Rome by Storm

  ”Arba” by Ophir Kunesch (photo credit:  Embassy of Israel in Italy)
 ”Arba” by Ophir Kunesch
(photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Italy)

Israeli dance took center stage in Rome as part of the international dance festival “Fuori programma”, curated by Valentina Marini, with whom the Israeli Embassy has cultivated a long-standing partnership. 

Over the course of three evenings in June, four captivating Israeli dance performances were showcased, drawing a wide audience and receiving high praise from cultural enthusiasts and senior officials alike.

 Mood Shifters” by Andrea Costanzo  (credit:  Embassy of Israel in Italy)
Mood Shifters” by Andrea Costanzo (credit: Embassy of Israel in Italy)

On June 22nd, the Italian-Israeli choreographer Andrea Costanzo presented his thought-provoking work "Mood Shifters," which captivated the audience with its blend of grotesque and melancholy elements. The three performers embarked on a shared journey with the audience, traversing the entire stage in search of intimacy, love, and, above all, recognition. 

The following evening, June 23rd, featured two more remarkable works that complemented each other beautifully. The program opened with Ofir Kunesch ”ARBA," followed by Lior Tabori's "Mars," which had previously been staged in Italy. "Mars" is an intimate exploration of masculinity, accompanied by the iconic music of artists such as Queen and Carsten Nicolai. The selection of these works is a testament to the director's discerning eye for curated, balanced, and thought-provoking performances.

  “Mars”  by Lior Tavori (credit:  Embassy of Israel in Italy)
 “Mars”  by Lior Tavori (credit: Embassy of Israel in Italy)
Ofir Kunesh's show in Italy is the result of a collaboration between Valentina Marini and the 1-2-3 program initiated by Naomi Perlov, the artistic director of the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre. This unique cooperation goes beyond the conventional financial support provided for one-off shows, as it fosters long-term educational ties between Israel and Italy. 

On July 3rd, the festival presented its fourth Israeli performance, featuring Israeli-Chilean artist Olivia Cort Mesa. Her mesmerizing piece, "I Carry, You Hold," took place in an enchanting forest-like setting on the outskirts of Rome, providing the audience with a mysterious and captivating experience. Premiering in November 2019 as part of Israel's "Curtain Up Festival," Mesa's work has received accolades, including the Best Dance Performers 2022 award from the Israeli Ministry of Culture and the RIDCC award (Rotterdam International Duet Choreographic Competition). 

Through mesmerizing contact improvisation, two performers on stage, a man and a woman, interact in a space where hierarchy dissolves, allowing for a harmonious balance of bodies and a profound exploration of physicality.

The performances were met with resounding success, with every show drawing a full house. 

The Israeli Ambassador to Italy, his wife and Dr. Maya Katzir, the cultural attache, were also in attendance, providing heartfelt comments and adding to the dancers' joy. The Israeli Embassy's support and presence at these performances underscore the commitment to showcasing and celebrating the vibrant Israeli dance scene on an international platform, forging connections and fostering cultural exchange between Israel and Italy.

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