For such a small country, Israel has conquered an impressively large place on the international dance map. Almost every world dance festival contains at least one Israeli company or choreographer in their program. While geographically removed from the dance centers of Europe and North America, Israel's choreographers seem to find a way to make themselves known abroad. Part of the recipe for this national success is an event that takes place this week.
The International Exposure Festival 08, a production of the Suzanne Dellal Center, takes place annually and presents an opportunity for curators and festival directors from abroad to view what is new in Israeli dance. The main function of this festival is to bring together the great dance minds of Israel together with those people that can propel them towards international success.
While the event is designed to create opportunities for touring, it is not exclusive to dance administrators. As such, it is a great chance to catch up on the performances that you may have missed this past year.
In total, thirty-six choreographers will present their works. Beginning on Tuesday night and continuing through the weekend, the festival will jam-pack Tel Aviv's Suzanne Dellal Center and Tmuna Theater, Jerusalem's Gerard Behar Center, and Kibbutz Yakum with a program that is a comprehensive 'who's who' of Israeli dance companies.
All of the pieces being performed have been choreographed during 2008 and represent the newest, freshest and boldest dance Israel has to offer.
On Tuesday night, the Batsheva Dance Company gets things started with Sharon Eyal's new work, Marakova Kibisa and Yasmin Godder's new work Singular Sensation headlines Wednesday. Friday brings us 60 Hz by The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and the Vertigo Dance Company performs White Noise on Saturday. On Sunday morning, Jerusalem's Kolben Dance Company shows the newest work by choreographer Amir Kolben, Interface. Finally, Inbal Pinto Dance Company will close the festival on Sunday night with Hydra.
Alongside the previously mentioned big names, International Exposure is designed to showcase some of the lesser-known choreographers as well. A number of smaller companies and independent projects have been chosen to take part in this year's festival.
The relatively still new Tel Aviv Dance Company shows their recently debuted work Tokyo Oranges on Thursday. Other choreographers, the likes of Idan Cohen and Renana Raz, whose works have been seen locally and abroad, join in the festivities. In addition, all of the pieces chosen to take part in The Curtain Up Festival as well as a number of works from The Other Dance Festival have been invited to expose themselves during the week.
This year boasts a very impressive list of guests of honor. Among the scheduled attendees are Martin Wexler, the artistic director of New York City's Joyce Theater, and Betsy Gregory of London's Dance Umbrella. Another confirmed guest is Wendy Perron, editor in chief of international publication Dance Magazine. Joining them in the audience will be artistic directors of festivals from Prague, Paris, Budapest, Lyons and others. All are coming this week to join dance's finest from Israel and around the world in the search of the best of 2008.
International Exposure takes place from Jan. 20 to 25. For scheduling and ticket information: (03) 510-5656, suzannedellal.org.il