Every night in Tel Aviv, people spruce themselves up and head out to see performances. The city is bursting at the seams with dance, theater and music. All of these cultural events coyly promise one thing to their audiences, the chance to be moved. This Saturday night, the price of a ticket to choreographer Dana Katz's new piece Ego-Bus includes not only your seat but a ride around the country.
In short, it will move you.
Ego-Bus is both a literal and figurative trip. "It's a claustrophobic space that takes us on a journey. The stations are like stops in our lives," says Katz. Superimposing live dance onto film, Katz has created a voyage on the roads of Israel, giving three women an opportunity to take stock of themselves at the same time.
Begining in Tel Aviv's urban setting, the piece then moves to calmer settings. The three dancers of Ego-Bus seek emotional order where there was once chaos. Building on Freud's Structure of the Mind, each character represents an element of the psyche. Katz explains, "The three women are extremely different from each other. There is the one who is very controlled, organized and correct. She is the superego. Then there is the one who is girlish and naÃ¯ve, the ego. Finally the one who is impulsive and intense represents the id. The choice to get on this bus gives them the possibility to find balance. Through their experiences and interactions with each other they are able to find calm."
This is Katz's second work. In 2003 she participated in The Suzanne Dellal Center's Shades Of Dance Festival with Boombox, which had both live and filmed versions. After wetting her feet as a choreographer, Katz moved to Australia where she completed a degree in dance at Melbourne University's Victorian College of Arts. Katz spent much of her time down under exploring the relationship between dance and film. She then travelled to Los Angeles for a workshop with dance-film legend Thierry De May. In 2005, Katz returned to Israel, prepared to work.
It was during her travels that the seeds of inspiration came to Katz. "You sit on the bus for hours," she says, "looking outside, taking in the foreign scenery, the people, the smells. I was trying to capture the feeling I had then, a sort of optimism as a result of seeing all of these new things. The curiosity."
For the past two years, this project has been all consuming. "I started out with a test, which took a few months to organize," she says. "I had to figure out how to incorporate dance with cinema. What I discovered was that it added another space to the stage, an extra depth. So I was working in two parallel spaces simultaneously. Once we finished the test we began a much deeper process where we worked in the studio with the dancers and video together all the time."
Katz was accompanied on this long journey by a team of artists. "So many people were involved in this process. I couldn't have done any of it alone, the filming, the editing, the music," said Katz. Ofir Leibovitz composed the original score following countless hours spent reviewing rehearsal tapes. The dancers, other than Katz herself, are Elior Briskin and Danielle Itshakov, who have been with Katz since the test stage of Ego-Bus. "This piece is as much theirs as it is mine," says Katz, who independently produced this premiere. The evening, titled Outside The Line, will showcase works by three other choreographers, chosen by Katz: Ronen and Tami Itzhaki, Anat Katz and Anat Vaadia.
Ego-Bus will play at The Suzanne Dellal Center's Inbal Theater on May 30 and June 6. Tickets are NIS 60 NIS. For more info visit danaka.info and for tickets call, (03) 516-6333.