(photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
The recent presentation of Second Count was a brave attempt to try and revive
the old, floundering Jerusalemite dance group, managed until recently by its
founder Tamara Myelnik.
Looking for a second chance, Myelnik stepped down
and former dancer Lior Lev was nominated four months ago to rejuvenate the
group. Lev, now artistic director of the ensemble, put on a contemporary piece
which retained some ties to his own training and performing days with Stuttgart
Ballet, formerly one of Europe’s stronger ballet companies.
short time he managed to assemble a group of dancers, but presented them
prematurely, and as a result, failed to reach the level of solidity necessary to
match the performance skills of other similar size groups in the local dance
His contemporary choreographic sphere is on the more conservative
side, and in spite of quite a few short moments of lovely compositions, he
relied on rather simple, repetitous expression modes. The short sections didn’t
accumulate enough energy or tension to form a cohesive entity, a full evening
piece with an artistic statement.
The Achilles’ heel was the dancing
itself. There were two male and five female dancers on stage. The eye rested
most of the time on the strongest, Turkish dancer Ivrim Ak Yay, who was more
experienced and functioned differently than the rest; without rounding up
corners, without missing a beat, maintaining full control and awareness of his
Next to Ivrim, it was too obvious that several participants were
a far cry from true professional standards. They moved, but their bodies stayed
limp between actions and lacked true vitality and full attention.
is a lot of work left for Lior Lev to do on the way to making a meaningful and
worthwhile change at the Jerusalem Dance Theater.