Shades of Dance
The traditional format of "Shades of Dance" hasn't changed for years. This year the stage was given over to a large group of short choreographic works by young artists of lesser experience.
After watching four programs with works by 11 choreographers, only few left a lasting impression, mostly for their theatrical impact and one for its dancing quality. More disappointing were those few that showed poor execution, lack of thematic direction and banal creativity.
A few of the more promising talents, however, deserve mention. Ran Ben Dror's rendition of "My Sweet Fur" by Idan Cohen, a solo about a man and the dog within him or visa versa, managed to avoid the trap of the grotesque and brought out sensitive, poetic moments.
"Pig and Pepper" by Zfira Stern Essel is a delightful fantasy that follows few scenes from Alice in Wonderland. Actress Emmanuela Amichai, supplied charm and talent and some of the piece's more rewarding moments. Some would argue that this piece is best defined as theater rather than dance, and they might be right, but with the grey zone between these disciplines, the argument is inconsequential.
Another highly theatrical piece called "Matilda," which also took place in that grey zone, was less successful. Noya Nardimon followed some texts from playwright Hanoch Levin, trying to revive the relations of two complex characters out of context and within time constraint. It was a brave attempt that was doomed to fail.
Two theatrical dance pieces on the same program worked rather well. The first was played out on chairs and the second on a bench. "Sisters," created and performed by Michal Harsonski and Shira Ben Ze'ev, offered a delicate and curious symbiotic relation between two sisters that sit and embroider together in physical harmony and emotional dissonance.
Four dancers crowded on a bench, turned "Sea Horses" by Amit Zamir to one of the highlights of the event. The expressive performers with obvious theatrical skills, perfect timing and astute ear for human pain and communication barriers, made it into one of the more touching yet funny creations.