Two-way ticket

‘Jaffa – Berlin Round Trip’ is a new constellation of works by four stellar artists.

April 1, 2011 19:19
3 minute read.
Jaffa – Berlin Round Trip

‘Jaffa – Berlin Round Trip dance 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Ten years ago, Amit Goldenberg and Ya’ara Dolev planted the seeds of what would become De De Dance Company in Tel Aviv.

Newly departed from the Batsheva Dance Company, Goldenberg and Dolev wanted to wield their stage experience to create their own work.

In the 2001 Curtain Up Festival, they presented a site-specific duet, which included a slew of sculptures. Their maiden creative process rendered positive responses, fueling them to continue. After two more appearances at Curtain Up, the two decided to branch out and form an independent company. Although they started out small, their presence in the dance community was felt, and over the past decade they have become an integral part of the local scene. Now, to celebrate their fruitful collaboration, they will present the outcome of another happy bond, that with Wee Dance Company of Germany.

Just a few years after having founded their ensemble, Goldenberg and Dolev reached out to Marko E.

Weigert and Dan Pelleg, directors of Wee Dance Company, to join them in an artistic process. The four choreographers traveled to each other’s hometowns to work with each other’s dancers. The result, which premiered in 2004 in Berlin, was Jaffa – Berlin Short Transit. Using video and live dance, the artists found ways to express their respective realities and work environments. The evening was composed of several short sections, including a duet danced by Goldenberg and Pelleg, which Dance Magazine called “stellar.”

After much success in many cities around the globe, Pelleg, Weigert, Goldenberg and Dolev have reinvigorated their relationship with Jaffa – Berlin Round Trip, a new constellation of works by the four artists. This past week, the two companies performed two shows in Tel Aviv. In the coming week, they will perform in Kfar Yona with a special showing of local dance students, and in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel.

Throughout the evening, different groupings of performers take on works by a number of choreographers. And though the show may sound threateningly disjointed, it comes together beautifully as a complete event of eclectic dance. In many ways, this project is a true collaboration. Not only will the audience have the opportunity to take in a myriad of works, but they will also see combinations of dancers from different countries performing alongside one another seamlessly.

Since the initial showings of Jaffa – Berlin Short Transit, both troupes have continued to flourish. Wee Dance Company has toured extensively over the past several years and has expanded its repertoire greatly. Two years ago, Wee Dance Company celebrated is 10-year anniversary with an evening of short pieces by its favorite collaborators, inspired by their work with Goldenberg and Dolev.

The past two years have been very eventful in the development of De De Dance. The company was instated as the resident troupe of Bikurei Ha’itim Center and became the Tel Aviv Dance Company. They opened a training program for preprofessional dancers, which was very successful. Then, one year later, they opted to reclaim their autonomy and left Bikurei Ha’itim and the funding of the Tel Aviv Municipality and returned to their original name. At present, the company is nomadic, rehearsing in a number of studios in the city.

Aside from the environmental and financial adjustment they have made, the infrastructure in the studio has been forever altered as well.

Goldenberg, who once starred in the lion’s share of the company’s repertoire, decided to retire from the stage to focus on management. Dolev created Blossom and subsequently went on to inhabit a more dominant role in the studio. After much reorganization and airing out, De De Dance has reconfigured itself into a leaner, more efficient creative organism.

Jaffa-Berlin Round Trip will run in Kfar Yona on April 3 at 8 p.m. and in Gan Shmuel on April 5. For tickets, call (04) 617-7311.

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