Stepping in

Audience invited to take in ‘Hostesses.’

By ORI J. LENKINSKI
July 5, 2010 06:47
4 minute read.
Dance

311_Hostesses. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The art of hosting has been studied and perfected by homemakers around the world. Women like Julia Child and Martha Stewart became famous teaching the public how to make a perfect stew or decorate a house in the optimal way for entertaining. And while they won’t invite you over for dinner, Shlomit Fundaminsky and Dana Rutenberg are taking hosting into their own, able hands.

On Tuesday night, Fundaminsky and Rutenberg graciously invite audiences to Hostesses at The Suzanne Dellal Center. This co-production between the two choreographers is part of the Hot Dance Festival. The evening will consist of one work by each woman and two works by their esteemed guests, Uri Shafir with Super Duper and Neta Rutenberg (of no relation to Dana) with To Do. As such, the title takes on an additional meaning. Not only are Fundaminsky and Rutenberg hosting the crowd, they are opening their doors to other dance makers.

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Dana Rutenberg has spent the past several years making dances in both Israel and New York City.

Upon completing a B.A. in dance at Columbia University, Rutenberg formed The Red Hill Project, a small troupe of dancers committed to performing her choreographies. Since returning to Israel, she has participated in many local festivals including Dance Arena in Jerusalem, Other Dance Festival at The Suzanne Dellal Center and IntimaDance at Tmuna Theater.

On Tuesday, Rutenberg will unveil her newest work, Poly, a trio for three women. In her previous piece, NABA, she provided each audience member with a headset with which they could choose the soundtrack for different sections of the work.

Poly was kind of an after-effect of NABA,” Rutenberg said. “I wanted to start with the music and let it inform everything else. I consulted with Matan Porat, who is an amazing pianist and composer and a friend of mine. He gave me a recording of Jascha Heifetz playing [Bach’s] Chaconne in D Minor. I had never heard that piece of music before and I was blown away by its complexity, the way it sounds like multiple violins when it’s really only one and its repetitive, tantric sort of intensity.”

FUNDAMINSKY HAS been known in the dance community for many years as a solo artist. Seven months ago, she gave birth to her son, and decided it was time to take a short leave of absence from the stage. As such, her process for La Divina was very different from previous works. “I am a soloist in my essence. I’ve been a factory of solos.

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It’s very challenging to work with other people, to teach them my solos,” said Fundaminsky.

She began by looking at the life of opera star Maria Callas. “I was commissioned to do a work about opera and dance. I didn’t know anything about opera. Somehow I remembered this aria called La Mama Morta that I liked when I was younger. And when I listened to it again, I realized that the singer was Maria Callas. Her life story was very interesting to me. I like to deal with characters that have lots of different sides. Maria Callas was a very complex person,” said Fundaminsky. In La Divina, dancer Inbal Aloni portrays the eccentricities and power of Callas.

In September, Fundaminsky will present an extended version of La Divina, in which four divas will perform in a site-specific installation as part of The Bat Yam Festival. From there she will take her divas to China, as a guest of Festival Act in Shanghai.

The duo met last year, while taking part in a project in Kiryat Shmona that focused on bringing dance to disabled children. “There we were,” explained Rutenberg, “two female choreographers, finding that we share many of the same notions, difficulties, hopes, fears... that was what got us talking in the first place. We decided that we should offer a stage, a room for talented bodies and minds.”

Rutenberg and Fundaminsky plan to change their line-up of guests for each coming performance of Hostesses. Rutenberg went on to explain that young choreographers often struggle to find appropriate forums to present their works because their pieces are too short for a full evening, and must be part of mixed bills. As such, their performance opportunities are mainly limited to local festivals, which are flooded with applications.

As a happy alternative, Rutenberg and Fundaminsky are eager to put their hosting skills to work. “Its such a privilege to be able give space to other artists – there’s so much talent out there,” said Rutenberg.

Hostesses will show July 6 at The Suzanne Dellal Center. For tickets, call (03) 510-5656

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