Taking up ‘Residance’ in Jerusalem

“It is my first time here but Iratxe has been here before. She was performing in Suzanne Dellal and she was also here with Nacho Duato Company many years ago,” says Bacovich

August 8, 2019 12:25
3 minute read.
Taking up ‘Residance’ in Jerusalem

Unshakeable. (photo credit: LEE VAI LEUNG)

When dancers go on tour, they usually follow a specific path: hotel, theater, coffee, theater and perhaps a bite to eat on the way to bed. Tours leave little time for wandering in a new place, meeting new people and soaking up a different culture. For this reason, choreographers Igor Bacovich and Iratxe Ansa are thrilled that their first professional visit to Israel is part of the inaugural “Residance” Jerusalem program. Initiated by the Jerusalem Municipality and in collaboration with the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, this new program invites local and international artists to dig deep into the city’s dance community.
As participating artists in Residance, Ansa and Bacovich have set up shop in Jerusalem for several weeks while they work on a new creation. 

“It is my first time here but Iratxe has been here before. She was performing in Suzanne Dellal and she was also here with Nacho Duato Company many years ago,” says Bacovich over the phone. Bacovich is out of breath, having popped out of a rehearsal in order to chat. The duo, partners both on stage and in life, are working on a trio in which Bacovich will perform. Titled Unshakeable, the work explores how individuals can maintain their personality and movement while functioning in a group. 
“It’s great being here. They are treating us very well,” he says. “The atmosphere here is nice. It’s very interesting to live in Jerusalem. It’s such an interesting city. The project isn’t just a workshop or rehearsal space. We have a bunch of fellow choreographers around. It’s nice to not be only us alone. We are used to go and make a piece but in this case we are in an institution that invited other choreographers to create at the same time and we can exchange thoughts. We have open-air showings for the public in different areas of the city as well.”

Bacovich, 37, was born in Torino, Italy, and grew up in Rome. “I left Italy very early,” he explains. “I went to study in the Netherlands at Codarts (Rotterdam University of the Arts) when I was 17.”

It was in the Netherlands that Bacovich met Ansa dancing in a project. Ansa, 42, hails from San Sebastian, Spain. She graduated from the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany, and then joined the Basel Ballet. Her career took her through several other reputable companies including Nacho Duato’s National Dance Company and the Lyon Opera Ballet. “I met Iratxe dancing in a project in the Netherlands, right before she joined Netherlands Dance Theater,” says Bacovich.
The two began creating together in their free time and slowly developed a body of work that includes Delirio, Extensia, The Absent Body and Meet Me There, among others.

When the invitation to create a piece in Jerusalem came from Mate Moray, artistic director of Residance, Bacovich and Ansa took it as a chance to try some new methods.

“We brought two dancers from our company, Antonella and Kate. Usually we do choreography and I am not in our pieces, but I felt like doing this one. It’s a smaller project and I felt I could bring something to the piece. We have a little bit more time than usual. Usually when you are invited for a company to make a piece you have two to three weeks maximum.”

Other choreographers to participate in Residance are Dor Mamalia, Eyal Dadon, Miriam Engel and Sofie Krantz.

While in Jerusalem, aside from rehearsing, Bacovich and Ansa are teaching master classes to local dancers. The showing and classes are subsidized by the municipality, allowing new audiences to come into contact with the artists.

“This morning we just gave a class. In total we had around 60 dancers. It was quite crowded with local dancers. We had a nice crowd of people. I think the aspect we like the most about what we’re doing here is the fact that it’s a generous project. It’s not just were coming and doing our thing. We are coming and sharing as much with the dance and non-dance community as possible.”

Bacovich and Ansa will present ‘Unshakeable’ from August 13-15. For more information visit yael-jerusalem.co.il

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