‘GLOBAL’ by Vertigo Dance Company.
(photo credit: MAAYAN HOTEM)
So much has changed since Anna Halprin first presented Parades and Changes. Just the fact that the performance was given for a live audience marked a major shift for the American performer and choreographer.
Before Parades and Changes internationally debuted in Stockholm, Halprin and her associates spent years experimenting in the studio, with no plan or aspiration to make the work public. However, in 1965, at the invitation to perform at a music festival, Halprin unveiled the fruits of years of research. The performance became the first in an incredibly long list of highlights that Parades and Changes has enjoyed in the five decades since. On Thursday, Parades and Changes reached new peak with the premier of Vertigo Dance Company’s three-part evening Global.
Global presents dance by three artists from three generations working in three points across the globe. Halprin, 95, lives and works in San Francisco, California. Noa Wertheim, 50, splits her studio hours between the ecological village in Kibbutz Netiv Halamed Hey and Jerusalem.
Sharon Fridman, 34, moved from Israel to Spain, where he founded and continues to run his own company, Compania Sharon Fridman.
Over the past several months, Vertigo’s dancers have met with the three choreographers, taking part in three concurrent artistic processes.
Halprin’s piece will be joined by Solo by founder and artistic director Wertheim as well as Fridman’s Stable.
When Parades and Changes premiered, it caused quite a stir. Halprin had broken away from the then popular modern dance styles of Martha Graham and Isadora Duncan, becoming one of the pioneers of postmodern dance. Another surprising element of the piece was full nudity, which had rarely been seen in dance pieces. Though Parades and Changes is an existing work, Halprin opened up the process to change when working with Vertigo. Halprin traveled to Israel to personally work with the company, spending long days in the studio passing on her memories, knowledge and expectations of the piece.
Wertheim’s Solo purveys her earthy aesthetic and grounded movement language. As always, Wertheim entered the studio with little expectations or plans, allowing the people and energies surrounding her to influence the process. Of the process, Wertheim writes, “This is a very special year for me. I am celebrating my 50th birthday and the best present I could have asked for is this extraordinary work. I feel that circles are closing and opening in my life. I want to share that sensation with the audience.”
Fridman’s time with Vertigo was a kind of reunion.
As a younger man, Fridman enjoyed his first professional performances as a dancer in the company. The time he spent watching and participating in Wertheim’s creative process proved to be life-changing for the choreographer.
“As a dancer in the company, over a decade ago, I was a witness to a very important phase of Noa’s process,” writes Fridman. When he left Israel for Spain, Fridman took a world of techniques and ideas with him. To this day, Fridman creates his works by using contact improvisation, one of Vertigo’s favorite tools.
“I work with contact improvisation.
The sensitivity to one’s environment and space, to bodies and people around them, connection and flow,” writes Fridman.
Though he has spent the past decade in Spain, Fridman feels the most at home in Israel.
“In Israel, I feel the need to influence and to effect change. My family and home are here, here is where I am best understood,” he writes.
With Stability, Fridman opens a window into his inner world, which is rich with the desire to find firm ground to stand on.
“The audience can expect to see human beings searching for personal stability, checking how far they can go with that journey. It is essentially a metaphor for life.”Global will be presented at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv today, February 10, 26 and 27 (www.suzannedellal.
org.il) and at the Jerusalem Theater on February 12 (www.jerusalem-theater.co.il.) For more information about Vertigo Dance Company, visit www.vertigo.org.il.