The energy and passion of Israeli dance will illuminate the stage of Tel Aviv's Suzanne Dellal Center on February 22 in a gala benefit for the Dancer's Union, part of the Israeli Union of Performing Artists (IUPA). The donation of theater space and performances for this evening reflect the overwhelming support to both recognize and promote the status of dance and the dancer in Israel. Among the evening's performers are the Israel Ballet, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Vertigo Dance Company, Yasmin Godder, excerpts from Barak Marshall's Monger, Hillel Kogan, Yossi Berg and Oded Graf. Amit Goldenberg, dance representative for the IUPA, relates that the dancers of the Batsheva Dance Company, having recently returned from a tour, are unable to participate. Goldenberg was inspired to suggest that the evening close with Ohad Naharin's Ehad Mi Yodea, performed by former company members. The idea was embraced with enthusiasm by Naharin and fifteen Batsheva veterans, including Jeremie Bernheim, Yaara Dolev, Stefan Ferry, Michael Getman, Tami Lotan, Keren Malkit and Talia Paz. "It is an immortal number," says Goldenberg, "everyone who has been in Batsheva has danced this piece." During rehearsals, Talia Paz looked at her fellow dancers saying, "This is a circle of dancers who are all over the age of thirty." They represent the union's aspiration to create a working environment that encourages and supports young dancers, enabling them to develop an enduring career. Growing to nearly 500 members in three years, the contribution of Rodrigo Gonzalez and Naama Tavori's prize money from the show Dancing with Stars gave the union a financial boost - but there remains much to be done. "Dance is a process of endless exploration," says Goldenberg who, along with Yaara Dolev is founder and artistic director of the Tel Aviv Dance Company, "only people with passion can pursue it." The Dancer's Union benefit gala event begins at 9 p.m. with tickets ranging from NIS 220 to NIS 1000 (or more if you dig the cause), which can be ordered at (03) 687-7825.