(photo credit: SIGAL RONEN)
Watching Rina Schenfeld dance, the expression “Age is a state of mind” repeats itself over and over. Nearing 80, the iconic Israeli dancer and choreographer moves with greater ease and agility than most people do at 30 or 40. That is not to say that Schenfeld hasn’t had to work for this longevity. She has.
For more than six decades, Schenfeld has tirelessly maintained her physical form and creative inner world with a rigorous schedule of training, choreographing and performing. On various occasions she has let us in on her secret – that a life in the arts has kept her youthful. Her constant need to progress in her form, to expose new sides of herself to her loyal audience, and her interactions with generation after generation of young dancers continue to spur her forward into uncharted territories.
Next weekend, Schenfeld will premiere two new works – a solo and a company piece – at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. It is not lost on Schenfeld that this premiere closes a circle. The museum was the first venue to host her company nearly 40 years ago. After decades spent on the world’s largest stages, Schenfeld has chosen to peel back and return to an intimate setting. Her hope is that bringing the audience physically closer will allow for more access points to the work.
The evening, titled Stand Up Tragedy, will feature seven poems written by Schenfeld. Each poem has found a dance expression, which she will perform while delivering the text.
In the second part of the evening, the company will take the stage. However, don’t be alarmed if they are hard to recognize. Here, Schenfeld continues her ongoing exploration with paper masks, giving each dancer a look of his or her own.
Later this year, Schenfeld will go to Paris, where she will perform in an opera at the prestigious Grand Palais. She is the first Israeli to ever be invited to perform in this space, a major accomplishment for any performer.Stand Up Tragedy will be performed on February 1 at 8:30 p.m. and February 2 at 1 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.tamuseum.org.il.