Israel Festival Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company Hydra Sherover Theater, Jerusalem May 24 Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak opened the 2008 Israel Festival with the premiere of Hydra, a surreal, theatrical-poetry work that followed the same artistic pathway as their earlier Shaker. Hydra goes even further in generating mystical nostalgia tinted with dream-like visuals and stage action of pastel hues, now with the residue of Japanese esthetics. This pearl of a stage creation brings out the visual sensitivities of Pinto and keen theatrical eye of Pollak, who courageously joined the troop for the first time. The tight ensemble work, that included dancers and actors - as do many of their works - was strengthened by guests that stood out: Shintaro Oue and Kaiji Moriyama. Abundant beauty prevailed in the minimalist set and its narrow window that were effectively used - in the versatile props, in group compositions and details such as the stunning painted screen cloth and the feathery darts that snowed as the dance ended. Many of the dance elements portrayed the nostalgic mood of Hydra. Structured as a string of pearls with miniature scenes that materialize, bloom and then dissolve, it maintained an inner wave-like rhythm where each association, flickering memory, passing mood and incidental encounter were all but traces of reality. It was delightful to follow some references to early modern dance roots of the 20th century, evident not only in the neoclassical white flimsy gowns of the dancers, but in homage compositions to dance pioneers as part of their creative perception. The outstanding aura of Hydra will retain its impact for a long time.