A crash course in contemporary dance

Now in its 15th year, the Hot Dance Festival is more polished and more diverse than ever.

Guangdong (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israeli dance community is diverse, effervescent and full of charismatic individuals.
Throughout the year, these artists take part in various festivals, both in town and abroad, showcasing their work on a variety of stages.
And every summer, Israeli choreographers and dancers make certain that they are present for the Hot Dance Festival at the Suzanne Dellal Center. For all of July and August, Hot Dance will take over the SDC with more than 50 performances for the whole family.
Now in its 15th year, the festival is a type of crash course for any audience member wanting to get a good summary of the past year in Israeli dance. From flamenco to contemporary to Irish, a huge array of styles and traditions represent the goings on of all who dance in Israel.
In the contemporary dance category, many of the usual suspects will be accounted for. Yasmeen Godder’s newest work, Storm End Come, will be part of this year’s program. Jerusalem’s Kolben Dance Company will unveil Longing, a new piece by choreographer and artistic director Amir Kolben. Kamea Dance Company will travel north from their Beersheba home to perform Status by Tamir Ginz.
For many of these established choreographers, Hot Dance was elemental in the development of their reputations and paths as dance makers. In a press conference this week, Yoram Karmi spoke warmly of the period, more than a decade ago, when the dance world was opened to him through the doors of Hot Dance.
“I had no budget, most of my dancers were working for free.
Somehow we managed to put together a show and were invited to perform as part of the festival. That really kicked off my company’s life,” he beamed. Fresco Dance Group is now celebrating its 10th anniversary and will premiere Cerberus during the festival.
Hot Dance is also an invaluable platform for emerging choreographers. This year, several upand- coming dance makers will premiere new works during the summer months. Odelya Kuperberg, recently back from maternity leave, will reveal We Haven’t Seen Blood Yet.
Yossi Berg and Oded Graf, whose work has been featured in previous years, will present the Israeli premiere of Black Fairytale. Berg and Graf created the piece as a commission in Denmark.
As the flamenco community blossoms in Israel, so does the presence of this genre in the Hot Dance program. During the festival, many interpretations of traditional and contemporary Spanish dance will be shown. The Israeli flamenco company Compas will present Carmen, a performance suited for the whole family.
Illusiones by Carmel Natan Shelly is a collage of modern movement styles with classic Spanish dance. “I tried to infuse my performance with my kind of dancing,” explains Shelly. Along with her cast of eight dancers, Shelly will enjoy the premiere of this new work in early July.
A newcomer to the Hot Dance entourage is Yair Werdyger.
Representing the Israeli Academy of Irish Dance, Werdyger is enthusiastic to bring his love of traditional Irish dance to Suzanne Dellal. In recent years, with the tour of Lord of the Dance in Israel, interest in the art form has grown steadily. Werdyger, whose love of Irish dance stems back to his childhood, has harnessed this genre in The Magic of Ireland. Danced by a cast of 10, Werdyger’s production is unlike any other work currently being performed in Israel.
As in recent years, the festival will also open its doors to a select number of international guests. This year, the Guangdong Modern Dance Company will show Between Body and Soul. In addition, British choreographer Nigel Charnock will premiere Haunted by the Future, a work made with eight Israeli dancers including Talia Paz.

The Hot Dance Festival will run from July 1 to August 31. All performances will take place at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv.

For more information, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.