Dance with actual dancing

Artistic director Yair Vardi brings cutting-edge dance to our shores year after year with up-and-coming troupes from Europe.

By SALLY-ANNE FRIEDLAND
October 12, 2006 14:05
3 minute read.
Dance with actual dancing

dance 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

As artistic director of Dance Europa, Yair Vardi brings cutting-edge dance to our shores year after year with up-and-coming choreographers and dance companies from the European Union. "There is no theme or purpose," says Vardi of this year's crop, "just good dancing. I choose from what is around and what is on the verge of becoming leading choreography in Europe today." Dance with dancing? This seems obvious, but surprisingly is not always on the menu. During the past 20 years, modern dance has opened its doors to every form of art, from vocals, text, actors and video art to acrobatics, circus acts and martial arts. It's not unusual to attend a dance performance and see very little actual dancing. The choreographer has a message and uses whatever media he needs to put his ideas across. Pure dance, without props or special effects, is becoming a rarity. No wonder, since it is a challenge: First, because the choreography must synchronize music, space, time and dancers. Second, it needs well-trained dancers who understand their choreographer, "speak" his language and are able to take the work further, to reach the audience. How often does that happen? Whenever you feel you are getting goose bumps. This year's dance Dance Europa encompasses five companies with seven works by eight choreographers - 35 dancers in a total of 16 performances - from Britain, Slovenia, Greece, Austria and Spain. After having seen short clips of the works, I can recommend the Maribur Ballet Ensemble from Slovenia, which is bringing "Radio Juliet," choreographed by Eduard Clug. It has a modern Juliet who is brittle, delicate and assertive all at the same time. Her movements are perfect as she dances to techno beats and to sounds of the Radio Head rock group. This Juliet has six Romeos, her past lovers. The movement is frenetic, going at a constant beat, showing the unison and quicksilver technique of dancers at their best. The six men wear black suits with no shirts. Juliet is clad in just a corset, showing off her beautiful long legs and arms, which create poetry with grace and power. Two contrasting elements are juxtaposed on stage: the modern mechanical world, all black, white and grey, and the romantic memory of a famous story, bringing up moments of passion and sadness. The stage is bare except for a steel wall, which the dance fills and refills with movement, cutting the space like a surgeon's scalpel. Austria, celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Israel, opens Dance Europa with "Blame It on Gavrilo" by Karl Schreiner, with a prologue by his friend and colleague Nicklaus Adler. Schreiner is an Austrian with a personal message: "Woven into my story is a love affair, whose high point is flowery and glorious, then declines toward the end, where it dies," he says over the phone from Germany. "Love affairs, like empires, rise and fall: Something dies inside, and the wounded remain to tell the story, with hope that history won't repeat itself. Gavrilo [of the title] fired the first shot of WW I, but the Austro-Hungarian Empire was already in decline, and this lone act destroyed an empire. The ruins that we stand on must be remembered. The tomb of the unknown soldier, the concentration camps are marks that won't and shouldn't heal. When you see and feel a mark, it reminds you of your past." There are seven dancers on stage - three women and four men, all Israeli. Suzy Steindling, who initiated the project, says, "It is the most mature work I have seen in a long time. It is multi-layered, never boring. I can watch it again and again. This cultural exchange is working well. They all seem happy to work together, and there is a harmonious atmosphere which we all enjoy." Greece is represented by Apostolia Papadamaki's rather provocative piece "Hermaphrodite," performed by Constaninos Rigos. It is a solo work, danced in the nude on a wide pedestal, giving the impression of an enlivened sculpture trapped in his own space. The Nafas Dance Company comes from Spain, with "Good Night... Amadeus," by Patrick de Bana. This work, performed by powerful young dancers, moves well. It is modern dance with flamenco elements, complete with traditional musicians on stage. The Bare Bones project from England has five dancers, showing three works: "And Then Gone" by Arthur Pita; "With the Company We Keep" by David Massingham; and "Crazy Gary" by Liam Steel, three modern British choreographers who have achieved international fame. Dance Europa runs from October 16 until 31 at the Suzanne Dellal Center in southern Tel Aviv, the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, and the Haifa Auditorium.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA