Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha'al Vertigo 521.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
With the new secular year just in, many of us have stopped to take a look back
at our past accomplishments. For choreographer Noa Wertheim, 2011 is both a year
of creation and a year of retrospection. Her troupe, Vertigo Dance Company,
which she runs with her life partner Adi Sha’al, is currently performing several
of Wertheim’s choreographies around the country.
And at the same time,
they are busy in the studio, developing new ideas.
This month, Wertheim
has revived Vertigo and the Diamonds. The piece was premiered six years ago and
is a collaboration of Sha’al, Wertheim, composer Ran Bagno and the rock group
The Diamonds. In the coming season, the company will perform Vertigo and The
In the past half decade, all parties involved have
undergone major changes. The musicians playing with The Diamonds have left and
been replaced, much like the dancers of Vertigo. Nevertheless, the show remains
true to its original form, explained Wertheim in a recent interview with The
Perhaps the most extreme element of Vertigo’s evolution
since the creative process for this piece is their relocation to Kibbutz Nativ
Halamed Hey. Moving toward a more ecological lifestyle, Sha’al and Wertheim
transferred a large part of the company’s activities from their Jerusalem studio
to their large, open workspace some 30 minutes south of the city. There, the
dancers use ecological toilets, drink rainwater and rehearse within four mud
Although their surroundings seem to have gotten softer in some
ways, Wertheim’s work has taken a turn for the morose. Both of Wertheim’s most
recent pieces, White Noise and Mana, have had an intensity and seriousness that
is new to her. Trading the vibrant red costumes of Birth of the Phoenix for
black robes designed by Rakefet Levy for Mana, the atmosphere on stage has gone
“In the past few years I have made heavier and heavier pieces,”
said Wertheim. “To go back to The Diamonds was a celebration for me and for the
dancers. Every time they start dancing, there is this joy emanating from their
bodies.” Vertigo and The Diamonds is a theatrical work that touches on
relationships, jealousy and the need for attention.
“The piece touches on
all the senses and, most of all, it is fun. I think that is hard to achieve in
modern dance, fun,” Wertheim went on. “It’s also great fun to perform with live
musicians. For the dancers, working with live musicians is one of the most
At present, Wertheim is at the beginning of a creative
process for a new work, which will premiere officially in November at the
Suzanne Dellal Center. She does not yet know if this new opus will have the
lighter, sillier atmosphere of Vertigo and The Diamonds or if it will continue
the line of her recent endeavors.
“When I create,” she said, “I don’t
plan how it will come out in the end. I have no idea. We have just begun to
build the music, to get into creating material. But really, I don’t know what it
will be yet, not at all.”
In the coming season, Vertigo will also work
with France-based Israeli choreographer Yuval Pick. The November premiere will
be a mixed evening of Wertheim’s and Pick’s productions. Pick is the house
choreographer and founder of the Lyon-based The Guests Company.Vertigo
and The Diamonds will be performed at the Suzanne Dellal Center on January 11.
For tickets and more information, visit www.vertigo.org.il.