For choreographer Eyal Dadon, spending two months in China creating a new work for 14 dancers was a major jump start to an already promising career.
Dadon had recently been appointed the new artistic director of the SOL Dance Company and the soon-to-open Be’er Sheva House of Dance when the invitation to China came through.
Dadon and his dancers would travel to Beijing, where they would present SALE, an evening-length work created in Israel, as well as spend several weeks working together with the dancers of Beijing’s newest dance troupe, Beijing 9 Contemporary Dance Company.
This month, Dadon will reveal in Israel the fruits of that meeting, a new work titled DU-K.
Dadon, 28, was born and raised in Beesheba. His dance career took him all the way to the north of Israel, where he was a member of the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Upon leaving the troupe, he joined the cast of Idan Sharabi and Dancers in Tel Aviv while simultaneously pursuing his own independent career as a choreographer. In 2016, Dadon presented SALE, which caught the eye of many local and international dance experts. His style blends theatricality with deft movement and a sharp sense of humor.
Following the presentation of SALE at the Suzanne Dellal Center’s International Exposure Festival, Dadon was invited to tour the work through China. The opportunity to create a new work for BJ9CDT was the icing on the cake.
Upon arriving in China, like any tourist, Dadon was taken to see the sights. One of the artifacts that caught his imagination was the Terra Cotta Army in Xi’an.
Standing in front of the thousands of clay sculptures, the seeds for DU-K began to take root.
“In May, I was in Xi’an and saw the Terra Cotta soldiers. It’s a very strong, inspiring sight to see. I brought my group from Beersheba to China, and we connected with BJ9CDT in Xi’an for two months.
We worked for six to seven hours every day,” he recounts.
The title refers to the Hebrew term du kium (coexistence).
Although the term is usually used in relation to the Middle East political situation, Dadon found himself in a different kind of coexistence over the course of his weeks in China. Bridging language, movement and cultural gaps between the Israeli and Chinese dancers presented the first and most significant challenge in his creative process. While Israeli dancers are trained in various contemporary and modern techniques and are encouraged to improvise and find their distinct artistic voice, Chinese dancers come with a heft of classical training and a desire to execute choreography at the highest level possible.
Finding a balance between these two streams of dancers, one that would present the audience with a cohesive group, took time and finesse.
The performance continues the esthetic line that Dadon established with SALE. The dancers’ expert technique is highlighted in undulating unisons and intimate exchanges. At some moments, Dadon allows his dancers to let loose and move freely to the groovy music of his choosing. All of this is spiced up by small comedic moments using text and everyday gestures.
Having returned to Israel in the fall, Dadon went back to work, both as a choreographer and dancer.
Earlier this month, he participated in Idan Sharabi’s new work Dinosaur, which will continue to run in 2018. This month, together with the four performances of DU-K in Israel, Dadon will begin a new work for the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. In March, he will travel to Moscow to create a work for the Stanislavsky Ballet, and in September he will return to the Far East to work with Chang Dance Theater in Taipei.‘DU-K’ will be performed on January 16 at the Jerusalem Theatre; January 17 at the Modi’in Performance Center; January 18 in Kibbutz Yagur; and January 19 at the Herzliya Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit www.bimot.co.il.