Diving right in

The Diver Festival offers a broader, more inclusive approach toward dance practice and performance.

May 30, 2013 11:30
3 minute read.
'Juft or an Accent’ by Avigail Sfez

'Juft or an Accent’ by Avigail Sfez . (photo credit: Yael Ilan)

Every few years, just when we think we have a handle on the annual calendar of cultural events, a new happening pops up to give a clearer, more up-to-date picture of what’s going on right now. For the local dance community, 2013 is the year of the Diver Festival. Two weeks ago, the new and improved version of this event kicked off in Tel Aviv. Initiated by Moshe Avshalom Shechter, the festival is in its second year, having begun as the Dolos Festival last season.

Given the sparse budget of Diver, Shechter managed to organize an impressive number of engaging events. This was possible thanks to collaborations with some theater spaces and artists.

For example, the Hamama in Acre offered several artists residencies that allowed them to create without the stress of looking for rehearsal space.

Over the course of four weekends, Diver took over an array of performance and rehearsal spaces around the city with a broader, more inclusive approach toward dance practice and performance.

This week marks the third of the four weekends of Diver. The festivities began with the premiere of Yasmeen Godder’s new work See Her Change . The festival features both established and emerging artists with a range of completed works, as well as works in progress.

The ensuing programs, which brought dance lovers to spaces they perhaps had never visited before such as Hateiva and the Bikurei Haitim Center, consisted of mixed evenings. These included Israeli artists such as Tamar Borer, Ariel Cohen, Osnat Kelner, Shani Tamari and Gilad Ben-Ari.

In addition, a roster of lectures, meetings and workshops have already sprung up under the umbrella of this Diver. This year, Diver partnered with the Tights program, which presents lectures and discussions on the state of dance today and the future of the art form. These events, which fall far outside the range of regular activities associated with local festivals, offer a much-needed breath of fresh air to local audiences and artists. For one, they give interested parties the opportunity to talk to the artists they usually see only on the stage. They also convey the fact that Diver is interested in exposing all aspects of the creation process to the public, not just the finished product.

This weekend, Diver will set up shop at Hateiva in Jaffa. On Friday afternoon, Ido Batash and Andrius Mulokas will premiere new works, followed by a third premiere by Lilach Livne in the evening. On Saturday, Tami Leibovitz, Einav Eshel and Talia De Vries will come together in a three-part program.

The fourth and final weekend of Diver will begin on Wednesday night with a two-part program at the Inbal Theater. Michael Getman will present his duet Face to Face , alongside Emmanuella Amichai’s Losing Meaning . On Thursday night, Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor will bring back Two-Room Apartment to the Tmuna Theater.

The piece has enjoyed a lustrous existence since its premiere in 2012, with a long list of performances both locally and farther afield.

On Friday and Saturday, Bosmat Nossan and Sharon Zuckerman will share the stage at the Tmuna Theater with three works – Misfits and Roach by Nossan and Echoes of Birth by Zuckerman.

The closing of the festival will take place on Saturday evening with an open discussion of the expansion of museum spaces to include performance, a trend that has offered artists in Europe and the US new opportunities to perform and create outside of the theater. And finally, an open mic will challenge participants to brainstorm about the future of Israeli dance.

For more information about the Diver Festival, visit www.thediverfestival.co.il

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