Dance Review: Emanuel Gat Suzanne Dellal, May 23

Israeli choreographer residing in France for the past seven years to return to Tel Aviv for performance.

June 3, 2013 20:50
1 minute read.

‘THE GOLDLANDBERGS’ Emanuel Gat 30. (photo credit: Emanuel Gat)


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Emanuel Gat, an Israeli choreographer residing in France for the past seven years, has won international recognition, so it’s a shame it took that long to invite him back to let our audience get a taste of his new work.

His latest, The Goldlandbergs, will be officially premiered in Montpellier next month, where he will serve as co-artistic director of the dance festival’s 2013 edition.

The name of the piece refers to J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations and to the documentary radio show The Quiet in the Land, created by Glenn Gould in 1977. Gat interwove Gould’s unsurpassed recording of that score from 1981 with the already intricate and layered sound and voice track of the radio show.

With only seven dancers, Gat’s challenging choreography found a subtle and rather sophisticated way to form a dialogue between the visual composition of the movement and the complex soundtrack. He did it with great sensitivity to moods, restrained pauses, crystal-clear quality of execution and attention to minute details. Like a refined haute couture, it carries great sincerity and cohesion of elements.

Gat was never concerned with show-off effects, but followed inner impulses and intensities, never loosing the human proportions of stage interactions. One can also see that in the choice of his dancers; varied in age and physical traits and projecting unique individuality. Their encounters are short and fragmented, and between them are islands of silence. The Goldlanbergs go beyond the temptation to compare the dance variations to Bach’s only variation-based score.

Gat’s severity restrained the action on stage and at times shifted the balance of ear-eye perception, perhaps making for a less accessible creation. In spite of that, or possibly because of that, that work is unsettling and resonates long after the curtain goes down.

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