Dance Review: ‘Curtain Up’ events

The overall quality of this edition was higher than most previous ones, yet it still remained within Suzanne Dellal audience’s safe zone.

Olivia Court Mesa and Yochai Ginton in 'I Carry, You Hold' (photo credit: G. AVARAHAMI)
Olivia Court Mesa and Yochai Ginton in 'I Carry, You Hold'
(photo credit: G. AVARAHAMI)
Suzanne Dellal Center
November 14-16, Tel Aviv
The Curtain Up framework is a yearly event, founded in 1989, aiming to supply professional support for a chosen group of independent choreographers. Looking at the partial list of Curtain Up alumni, one can find the names of some of our better dance makers, among them choreographers such as Emanuel Gat, Itzik Galili, Yasmeen Godder, Uri Ivgi, Eyal Sharon and many more.
Mate Moray and Itzik Galili, the current artistic directors of the event, seemed to focus on diverse approach within the contemporary dance which respects its mainstream perceptions. As a result, this edition turned to be rather polished and reflected the fact that there are many talented people in the field, and some had a chance to prove it within this protected environment.
Although there were a numerous worthwhile creations, it was impossible to ignore three works by female choreographers, each with distinct, singular voice of her own.
Choreographer Talia Beck created Esters, a duet she performed with Michal Saifan. Both seem to be well versed in human interactions, flavored with subtle sensitivities. Both also mastered the art of understated dance-talk. They chose this underrated approach, which is so rare within our society’s daily interactions.
Contrary to their modest, grayish rehearsal outfits, the eyes were drawn to a hanging multicolored, sumptuous cloud-like glowing object, which seemed to be ingeniously hand-crafted. The dancers accepted the contradiction between their modest conduct and the stylized, enigmatic article. While the dance progressed, this object turned to be a non-issue, over shadowed by their hypnotizing presence.
Another dancer that easily kept the audience on their toes was Roni Chadash with her solo And All That Body, a new chapter in her ongoing quest to decipher the mystery of her own body. Chadash seems to look for a way to distance herself from her body, in order to better understand it. In the meantime, she developed an original somatic language, using her impressive flexibility to activate and manipulate her own performing moves, which she doesn’t seem to enjoy much yet. But we do. Her stage persona is inquisitive and innocent, and her kinesthetic choices seem to surprise her, like they surprised and delighted us.
Other issues seem to concern Olivia Court Mesa, a small-frame dancer yet an energetic and strong performer who collaborated with dancer Yochai Ginton in her creation: I Carry, You Hold, which in fact meant: I can do anything better than you. A moment later, the tall Ginton jumped into her arms and she hardly batted an eye lash. The duet of power games was well executed and humorous without taking itself too seriously. Mesa’s vivid presence always seem to stand on stage and it certainly did this time, as she almost proved her point.
The overall quality of this edition was higher than most previous ones, yet it still remained within Suzanne Dellal audience’s safe zone, partially due to the “respectability” of the venue. One still hopes to see next time a more challenging dance, with a bit more prickly chutzpah.


Tags culture dance