Staged beauty

The Israel Ballet looks forward to an eventful season.

By ORI J. LENKINSKI
November 21, 2013 09:49
2 minute read.
The ballet has come back with a burst of new energy and engagements

The ballet has come back with a burst of new energy and enga. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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For the Israel Ballet, 2013 marks the most eventful year that the company has had in ages. After spending the past couple of decades maintaining a low profile, the ballet has come back with a burst of new energy and engagements. Thanks to its new artistic director Ido Tadmor, the long-standing troupe is changing its image and ramping up its annual activities.

The festivities began earlier this year with the premiere of Our Days, an evening danced to the music of local rock band Hayehudim. After that, Tadmor presented Moon, a three-part program featuring dances made especially for the ballet by local and foreign choreographers. Now the ballet will reach a new high with the premiere of Beauty and the Beast by internationally renowned choreographer David Nixon.

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Beauty and the Beast will begin its tour throughout the country next week. Over the next five weeks, performances will be held in Rehovot, Ashdod, Haifa, Gan Shmuel, Petah Tikva, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ness Ziona, Modi’in and Eilat.

To make this production possible, Tadmor reached out to Nixon, whose blockbuster choreographies have been presented by companies the world over.

“It’s a very expensive production,” Tadmor said in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post. “We got it for almost nothing. David agreed to allow us to change the entire set design so that we could present this piece. Otherwise, there is no way we could have done it.”

Tadmor went on to explain that Nixon’s arrival in Israel symbolizes the wave of international collaborations and commissions that are in store for the ballet in the coming seasons.

Beauty and the Beast will be our first original classical production. It’s very exciting,” he said.



Nixon was born and raised in Canada. He began his professional career as a dancer in the Deutsche Oper Ballet in 1985. In 1990, he presented his first ballet, Liaisons, at the Hebbel Theater in Berlin.

Four years later he returned stateside to take up the reins as artistic director of Columbus, Ohio’s BalletMet. It was there that he first tried his hand at Beauty and the Beast. In his six years with the company, Nixon created more than 15 ballets. He then set sail for England, where he brought the Northern Ballet of Leeds back into the limelight. In 2011, Nixon recreated Beauty and the Beast, this time with a new grand set and fabulous costumes.

Though the Israeli version will be somewhat less opulent than the production in Europe, it will offer local audiences a glimpse of Nixon’s handiwork. Each character’s traits have been translated into a specific movement language, and each dancer fills the role with grace and enthusiasm.

It is no accident that the premiere of this massive production will take place during Hanukka. Even though Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast came out before today’s children were born, the tale is a favorite of the young generation. In Nixon’s ballet, children will find all their beloved characters, from Belle to Gaston to the dancing chinaware.

In the new year, the Israel Ballet will take on another major challenge, the cherished ballet La Bayadere by Marius Petipa.

“We will be showing La Bayadere as part of the Israel Festival in May 2014,” Tadmor said.

For more information, dates and tickets visit www.iballet.co.il.

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