(photo credit: GADI DAGON)
Out of the 11 creations shown in the current edition of the Curtain Up festival, only a single work, by Iris Erez, passed the jury of the highly prestigious upcoming International Exposure event, set to take place in early December and aimed to capture the attention of dozens of festivals and theaters directors from abroad.
This poor result shouldn’t be ignored or dismissed by all those responsible for supporting the artistic agenda of this Curtain Up edition, which proudly ranked work process over results.
There is little chance that the clerks and politicians at the Culture and Sport Ministry, which supported this move in the hopes of updating and upgrading the local dance scene, will realize, or even see with their own eyes the dismal results of this hugely expensive experiment.
All too often we hear fringe artists hiding behind terminology such as “research” and “laboratory,” yet dance is a performance art, not rocket science or a first-year course in contemporary French philosophy. Its tools should primarily be talent, awareness, sensitivity and originality. Certainly not compliance with some transient new gospel in the hope it will shorten the way to the top. Particularly since this particular “revolution” is already old news across the sea.
The audience pays for tickets, and in return rightfully expect to at least see professional, fully thought-out and decently crafted work, with honest intent.
Though over the years Curtain Up hosted and encouraged most of our local dance talent. Obviously not all the works were good, not all the editions carried new tidings galore, but at least the event reflected rather well the best of contemporary Israeli dance at a given moment in time.
In this year’s framework, besides works by Erez and (to some extent) Ido Feder and Anat Gregorio, the rest should not have been shown.
Educating fringe artists – or any artists – is a fine cause, and finding them venues to develop and refine their craft is highly important. This could be achieved in any number of facilities and frameworks. Just leave the singular search for quality dance embodied by Curtain Up alone.