CURTAIN UP 2018 dancer Roni Hadash. .
(photo credit: IRA TASHLITSKY)
"Curtain Up” premiered nine creations of upcoming independent choreographers last week. The pieces were chosen by artistic directors itzik Galili and Mate Moray, both of whom aim to support a diversified dance scene.
Over three evenings one could see the growing overall skill and expertise of our dancers. Yet – as far as dance art goes – interesting, original or choreography that defies old borders is as rare now as it ever was.
Once in a few years a new voice comes up, a maverick creator who opens a new way of perceiving dance and movement, which thrills and changes us. Realistically, one should be happy when “Curtain Up” or other frameworks bring on stage a promising talent with potential for growth. Fortunately, this year there were a few well-executed, interesting and worthy creations. Among them was Roni Hadash’s “Victims and Images,” a duet she performed with Carmel Ben Asher, as part of her ongoing investigation concerning the form and image served by the body.
Both dancers have impressive control of their bodies and Hadash’s curious, highly distinctive body’s perception had already produced original characteristics consistently, which sets her apart from any of her contemporaries.
Two ballet dancers/upcoming choreographers who took part in last year’s “Curtain Up” made it again to this year’s edition: Egor Menshikov of the Jerusalem Ballet and Amit Yardeny of the Israeli Ballet. Both are searching for a way to best use their classical ballet training on their journey into the open, expanded space of contemporary playground. In recent years, Menshikov went a long way to integrate the regimented body politics with contemporary notions. His keen eye for the stage’s space, solid and interesting compositions, intuitive sense of timing and focused agenda, won him attention and a feeling that his talents can take him even further.
Amit Yardeny created a vehicle for himself and three of his buddies that shows off their craft as well as their wild side, incorporating innuendos concerning gay culture and gender issues. By stepping far away from the ballet’s disciplined aesthetics, Yardeny woke up in a fun “boys’ company,” a sassy, mildly provocative satire on the macho male image confronted by the sentimental, sensuous oldies sung by Dean Martin. The four strong men enjoyed their own fun-filled clichés, much like the audience. Yet, Yardeny can do more and go further and deeper with his drive and passion.
“At the Foot of the Vanishing Table” by Tamar Lam and David Kern is yet another singular creation by this couple. They managed to concoct a mixture of dance drama based on a campy, unfounded tale involving a crazy cat-lover lady who is a witch. They take turns in holding the mike and reciting the unfolding plot as their partner runs and skips in the background. There is also a tent, guitar, a cat song and – spoiler alert – some magic smoke.
Lam and Kern’s partnership started a couple of years ago after both previously managed independent careers. Lam, much younger than her partner, took a huge leap forward under his mentorship. From a delicate, fragile, introverted dancer, she acquired a surprisingly multifaceted stage presence. Both bring a totally original, intelligent and different color to the field.
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