Beyond the fringe

Although the theme is ‘ornament and crime,’ there is nothing intimidating about the innovative Intimidance festival.

December 17, 2010 16:33
3 minute read.
Intimidance festival

Intimidance festival 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Among the annual events that take place within the dance community, there are many different types of gatherings. Some are prestigious, others cool…and then there is the dark horse. Unlike its counterparts, which are hosted at the Suzanne Dellal Center, this petit festival lures prospective audiences away from the gentrified beauty of Tel Aviv’s Neveh Tzedek to the shadowy, industrial district around Hamasger Street. And while many of the shinier festivals claim to draw their creations straight from the fringe canyon, Intimadance truly represents the “other.”

For the past three years, Nava Zuckerman and Ariel Efraim Ashbel have presented the Intimadance Festival at Tmuna Theater. Their artistic taste is very different from that of the directors of Curtain Up and Shades of Dance, thus allowing an opening for many new choreographers to show their work.

This year, Intimadance hosted seven artists in a premiere in August. Now, having taken a break to watch their videos, reconsider their statements and hopefully rest, all but one of the artists of Intima 2010 hit the Tmuna stage for an encore performance. On Sunday night, Intimadance will once again take the Shonzino Street stage.

The concept behind Intima is slightly different from other festivals.

Where other festivals choose choreographers based on the work they present in an audition, Intima chooses its artists and only later evaluates their work. As in previous years, the creators were given a jumping-off point to begin their processes.

This year, drawing from an essay published in 1908 by Austrian architect Adolph Loos, the trigger was “ornament and crime.” Each of the works is a response to this topic.

For many, this format may seem limiting. Artists generally tend to work on what they want to work on.

However, for the chosen participants, such as Idan Yoav, the direction given by Zuckerman and Ashbel was a great motivator. “The topic wasn’t limiting at all. It was a challenge. I feel that dance always needs to be challenged,” he said.

Yoav was thrilled to take part in the festival. “I was truly honored to work with Ariel and Nava,” he said.

“They gave me the freedom I needed, and at the same time they were guiding me and pushing me to ask questions about myself and about my work.”

Yoav’s trio Ana of You: Cloning in Aesthetics, performed by himself, Ariel Cohen and Roi Itzhak Halevi, draws on famous characters from the fashion and pop worlds, such as Lady Gaga and Anna Wintor.

Although the cast is all male, Yoav uses feminine imagery to comment on the obsession our society has with ornamentation. After reading Loos’s essay, the first thing to pop into Yoav’s mind was the fashion world. “I think the fashion world is the absolute example of ornament and crime,” he said. Looking at the fine line between exploiters and exploited, Yoav’s work is enticing.

Other choreographers in this year’s line-up are Rotem Tashach, a recent veteran of Curtain Up; Efrat Nevo, Michal Gil, Yasmeen Farber and Ran Ben-Dror.

It is rumored that this will be the last year of Intimadance. After three years of provocative, thoughtful evenings, Ashbel and Zuckerman may throw in the towel on this particular format. In this writer’s opinion, that would be a real shame.

Intimadance will run at Tmuna Theater on Monday at 8 p.m. Tickets are NIS 65. To purchase, call (03) 561-1211 or visit

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