The new second opinion

Choreographer Michal Sharon invokes the power of the female at the Women’s Festival in Holon.

By ORI J. LENKINSKI
February 10, 2012 16:23
3 minute read.
Michal Sharon

Michal Sharon 390. (photo credit: Courtesy)

In medicine, the vital nature of second opinions is unquestionable. Where one doctor sees one malady, another may perceive a drastically different problem. In truth, in almost any field two heads are often better than one.

For the bulk of her career, Michal Sharon provided this important service. As a dancer for and partner of a well-known choreographer, Sharon was often asked to lend her critical eye to the creations of others.

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But all that was before she returned to Israel.

Now back in her own country, Sharon has decided to try her hand at choreography, a feat that has intimidated her for many years. Later this month, she will unveil her second original work as part of the She Is Movement evening in the Women’s Festival in Holon. The evening will consist of premieres by Sharon, Maya Yogel, Danielle Livnat and Shelly Alaluf.

A choreography for four dancers, Instruction Manual is Sharon’s attempt to connect to dance in a new way. The piece she will present in Holon is only a small excerpt of the evening-length production that will premiere at Beit Gavriel in early March.

“The piece is about the desire and need to be part of a group, the power of a group,” said Sharon in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post. “Every person who is alone has an ugly side, a weak side. The piece was made for women, so it is a lot about the power of women. There is a recurring motive of the folding of paper, which connects to a childish place within the women. Later it becomes manipulative, even obsessive.”

Almost a decade ago, Sharon left Israel for the sake of her career and her relationship. Her partner, Itzik Galili, was the artistic director of the Netherlands Dance Theater. Sharon was a dancer for the company and a confidant of Galili’s throughout his many artistic endeavors. “In Holland I had my son. And then I had twins. I found myself alone a lot. There were some really tough times there,” she said.

“Motherhood brought about this desire to be here,” said Sharon of her somewhat sudden return to Israel. “To save my soul, I had to come back. Sadly, Itzik stayed living there. He’s doing his art.

Creating and motherhood are both total. I know choreographers that do both, but it’s hard without a partner. I’m doing an experiment on my own.”

For the four months of the creation process for Instruction Manual, Sharon managed to juggle studio time with home time, creation with overseeing homework – and all on her own. “I am a single parent to three kids. I want to continue to work in my field,” she said.

Though Sharon’s career as a dancer kept her in major cities, she feels shy about presenting her art in Tel Aviv.

“I don’t want to take part in the festivals. I feel uncomfortable about joining the scene there,” she explained.

Now, entrenched in her northern community of Zichron Ya’akov, Sharon dreams of developing a more permanent forum for herself and her peers to explore and present their art. “I am striving to create a professional group here,” she said. “I do think that Zichron is a great place to have a company. Dancers are very nomadic, they can move around easily. Zichron is perfect for a group because it is beautiful and conveniently located between Haifa and Tel Aviv.”

And though Instruction Manual marks Sharon’s transition into the realm of choreographers, she hasn’t forgotten the importance of second opinions. “The kids have really enjoyed this process. They love coming into the studio to tell me what they think about what we are making,” she said.

She Is Movement will take place on February 23 at 7 p.m.

at the Holon Theater. For tickets, call (03) 502-3000 or visit www.holon.muni.il.


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