(photo credit: Courtesy)
To honor the coming of the Chinese new year, the Suzanne Dellal Center and the
Chinese government will bring two troupes to perform in Tel Aviv in February as
part of the Chinese Spring Dance project.
Ushering in the year of the
rabbit, the company BeijingDance LDTX and an ensemble of Shaolin monks will
travel to Israel. This coming week, Neveh Tzedek will be overrun with the
talented artists of BeijingDance LDTX and a group of incredibly lithe Shaolin
BeijingDance LDTX (Lei Dong Tian Xia), literally “thunder rumbles
under heaven,” was founded in 2005. It was the first company to be established
in China independent of the government. Led by Willy Tsao, known worldwide as
the godfather of contemporary Chinese dance, the troupe has dissolved many
boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable performance in their home
country. In an evening called Celebration, the amazingly skilled dancers of
BeijingDance LDTX will perform original works from their vast
One of Tsao’s main objectives as artistic director of
BeijingDance LDTX is to promote and encourage emerging choreographers. As such,
he is constantly searching for new talent, mainly among his dancers. For its
Israeli shows, BeijingDance has put together a tasting menu of its
Four pieces will be presented, each choreographed by a slightly
different mix of artists.
An abridged version of The Cold Dagger will
start the evening. The work was choreographed by Li Hanzhong, deputy artistic
director, in collaboration with star dancer Ma Bo.
Following that is Sky
by Liu Bing and Song Tingting
, an excerpt from One Table Two Chairs by Willy
Tsao, Li Hanzhong and Ma Bo. Finally, All River Red, which is one of the
company’s most recent and most successful pieces. In All River Red
choreographers Li Hanzhong and Ma Bo adapted Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
their culture. Presenting a painful and honest portrayal of the clash between
East and West, the piece is a dramatic and moving work.
evening in this festival is more martial arts than dance; however, the monks’
performance will be no less physically demanding than that of BeijingDance LDTX.
The Shaolin monks will perform a traditional demonstration of stage combat,
drawn from hundreds of years of tradition and practice.
evidence of Shaolin kung fu dates back to the sixth century. A few battles were
documented, during which monks from the Shaolin temple defeated robbers by using
their unique skills. In the 16th and 17th centuries, martial arts became an
integral part of life in the temple.
In 1610, the first manual on the
form was printed, entitled Exposition on the Original Shaolin Staff Method, a
document that is still used today. In recent years, due to increased
international attention, the abbot of Shaolin opened his doors to the media,
allowing a 1,500-year-old tradition to enter pop culture.
choreographers have referenced the deft movements of these monks in their dance
Most recently, Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi used 50 similarly
trained monks in his epic work Sutra, which toured in Israel last
The two shows will run from the February 13 to 20, with
performances in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Karmiel and Beersheba.
LDTX will perform at the Suzanne Dellal Center on Feb. 14 and 15.
Shaolin Monks will perform on Feb. 16, 18 and 19. For tickets, visit
www.suzannedellal.org.il or call (03) 510-5656