Asking new questions

Six challenging pieces premiere in this year's New Dance project.

New Dance 370 (photo credit: Yuval Yosef)
New Dance 370
(photo credit: Yuval Yosef)
In many professions, the only way to cut one’s teeth, so to speak, is to dive right in and start working. Though education can prepare us for the tasks we face in the workforce, life experience cannot be underestimated. It is in real life that we meet mentors, people who can guide us to discover new horizons.
For choreographers, taking a leap of faith into a creative process can be daunting. Often, the skills acquired in professional training programs focus on only one aspect of the complex set of requirements in managing, directing and running a production. And though they are part of a tightly woven community, in the studio choreographers are often alone with their thoughts. Often, what these artists need is not the answers but rather a new set of questions to ask.
For the artists chosen to take part in this year’s New Dance project, such was not the case. The New Dance project has been around for several years, but it underwent drastic changes this year. The artists were challenged to take their work out of the studio and into the world.
Each of the six emerging choreographers hosted by Jerusalem’s Hazira was offered artistic mentorship by leading musicians, dance makers and visual artists such as Anat Danieli, Yali Sobol and Tamar Borer. They were guided throughout their creative process by this year’s artistic director, Sahar Azimi, as well as by one another.
Azimi is well known in the local dance community. He has been dancing and choreographing in Israel for almost two decades and has served twice as artistic director for the prestigious Curtain Up Festival. This year, he revealed his musical talents on the Israeli TV show The Voice.
Over six months of meetings, each choreographer was asked to challenge their choices, to dig deeper and to expand their creative boundaries. The results of their work will premiere this week at the Gerard Behar Center in Jerusalem. The six choreographers of the 2013 New Dance project are Shlomi Biton, Sofia Krantz, Ran Ben-Dror, Uri Shafir, Michal Herman and Lilach Livne.
Krantz’s piece, Out Body Out, deals with the conflict between the physical body and the internal life of a person. It is a duet for two female dancers – Krantz and Tamar Gross.
Ran Ben-Dror’s solo InSect follows a creature that is coming to life. Gasping for air and striving to understand the mechanics of its body, the being slowly begins to realize itself and its shape.
Uri Shafir’s Fail Better is a duet for two male dancers; Shafir and Omer Uziel. Both dancers represent the same person, or two sides of the same persona. The piece deals with Shafir’s ongoing dialogue with himself. At times he longs to reconnect with himself , while at others he feels disappointed with his abilities.
Lilach Livne’s Hora for Holders is the result of a full year of research. Livne conducted this exploration in private homes, galleries and public spaces. Livne began by questioning the definition of choreography. Can choreography exist only in the mind? Can it be used as a means to change us? Can the choreographer put his/her ego aside and use his/her work as a means to meet people? Livne and four others will perform the piece.
Michal Herman’s Flick Flack is a duet for Herman and Ran Ben- Dror. Drawing on Albert Camus, Herman explored the desire to progress while remaining stationary.
Hits Part A is a group piece by Shlomi Biton. For this work, Biton directed, choreographed, danced and composed original music in an attempt to fully express himself to the audience. His dancers hail from the Maslool Professional Dance Program in Tel Aviv.
New Dance will run from June 25- 27 at the Gerard Behar in Jerusalem. For more information, visit