Israel Ballet dancers 521.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There are some pieces of music that are so deeply embedded into our culture that
we forget their origin. Quotes from plays are uttered frequently by those who
have never read the words in print. A masterpiece can often transform
into a thousand jingles, catch phrases or melodies chimed by jewelry boxes.
Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” is one such tune.
As a little girl
in a tutu taking ballet class twice a week, December meant one thing to me… The
Nutcracker Suite. Whether growing up in the United States or Europe,
ballet lovers know that snow on the ground is equal to the familiar “Marzipan
Variation” or the “Sugar Plum Suite.” All over the world, winter is the time to
rush to the theaters to take in Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. It’s hard to imagine
not enjoying watching a world of candy spring to life, turning and leaping on
stage in colorful costumes.
This year, the Israel Ballet invites
audiences to watch Clara dance with the Mouse King and to be swept away into a
seasonal (albeit Christmas) tradition.
For the new year, the directors of
the Israel Ballet have put together a playbill full of classical delights. This
season they will show The Nutcracker
, Sleeping Beauty
, another staple of any
ballet ensemble, and a triple bill including Symphony in C
Artistic director Berta Yampolsky, a legend in the
Israeli dance community, choreographed four of the five pieces in this
Renowned American choreographer George Balanchine gave the fifth
piece to the company. The Israel Ballet fostered a long-standing relationship
with Balanchine, dating back to the mid-1970s. To this day, many of the
company’s most often-performed works are the fruits of Balanchine’s labor. And,
in addition to honoring well-known artists, they are in constant search of new
talents, often opening their doors to emerging choreographers.
inception in 1967, the Israeli Ballet has brought a taste of the old world to
local audiences. It is no secret that Israeli dance is dominated by modern
styles; however, directors Yampolsky and Hillel Markman provide a link between
our young country and the timeless ballet technique. The company is the only
troupe in the country dedicated to presenting classical and neoclassical
Now based in Tel Aviv, the Israel Ballet also houses a school,
considered to be the top academy for young classical dancers in
Yampolsky and Markman met in the 1960s. First they were dance
partners, then life partners. After being married, the two quickly took off for
London. After years of performance and study abroad, the couple returned to
Israel and founded the Classical Ballet of Holon. Yampolsky took to creating
pieces for the company’s repertoire, which remains a large part of her work.
Over the past four decades, Yampolsky has made more than 20 full-length ballets
for the Israel Ballet. In 1985, she choreographed her version of The Nutcracker. Two years
later she tried her hand at Sleeping Beauty. Both ballets were well received and
continued to be performed by the company. The ballet company has been based in
Tel Aviv officially since 2004.
This program will be performed around
Israel, in theaters from the north to the south of the country. If the
weather outside doesn’t convince you that it’s winter, perhaps the ballet
will.The Israel Ballet will perform in Ness Ziona on January 3. For
further dates, times and locations, visit www.iballet.co.il.