A diamond in the rough

The unassuming Tmuna Theater hosts the exciting 13th annual Intimadance Festival.

Intimadance (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
(photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
There are no flowerpots or picturesque benches on the way to the Tmuna Theater. No fancy coffee shops serve refreshments to show-goers on their way in to the south Tel Aviv establishment. For first timers, the trek to Tmuna may even prompt the question, “Is this the right place?” But beyond its rough exterior, the unusual venue offers gems of creativity and innovation.
Next week, Tmuna will host the 13th annual Intimadance Festival.
This event spans four days and boasts the most promising young, emerging and established choreographers on the dance scene.
Curated by Nava Zuckerman and Irad Mazliah, this year’s program is an exploration of the place between memory and forgetfulness.
Zuckerman and Mazliah, who asked critical questions and challenged the choices made by the choreographers, then mentored the chosen artists over several months.
Each dance maker approached the themes in a different way, creating a diverse and intense set of pieces.
Many of the pieces include text, props and other elements that hail from the performance art sphere.
In a recent presentation prior to the festival’s opening, a group of the selected artists exposed bits of their work for the first time. The program is broken down into two groups: Intima 1 and Intima 2.
Sharon Vazana’s Red Fields is part of Intima 1. Set to excerpts from Verdi’s Nabucco and Ernani, dancer Ravid Abravanel fills the stage with movement and vibrant personality.
Vazana’s choreography evokes a sense of wildness while remaining aesthetically clean and elegant.
A veteran of Intimadance, choreographer Yuval Goldstein will return with Romeo and Juliet in Intima 1. Danced by Omer Uziel, the piece is a new interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s ballet. Goldstein’s take on this tale is expressed in a comical and clever fashion, with Uziel dancing the role of the devoted Romeo and, at times, the lovely Juliet.
Jason Danino Holt, who hails from the theater world and will take part in the new season of Connected on prime time Israeli television, revealed a first glimpse of The Woman I Could Have Been.
Surrounded by five very different women in age and body type, Holt regales the audience with details about the woman he might have been. “She drinks soy milk and eats oranges,” he intones. Holt’s investigation of the inner thoughts of women is both witty and smart.
Holt’s piece is part of Intima 2.
Perhaps also drawing on the idea of the woman she may have become, Maya Yogel’s Almost a Mensch shows Yogel dancing to the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black.”
Yogel is at once a desperate lady, clad in a hoop skirt and blouse, and Billboard an eccentric, sensual rock star. The contradiction between the two characters presented simultaneously by Yogel makes for a thoughtprovoking viewer experience.
In addition, two guest performances will spice up the festival. The two guest evenings selected by Zuckerman and Mazliah present five of Israel’s finest male dancers.
And Mr. by choreographer Rachel Erdos, in collaboration with Ido Tadmor and Stephen Perry, will have its official premiere at Intimadance. The piece was originally choreographed as a solo for Tadmor and has already been invited to festivals around the world. In recent months, Tadmor and Erdos expanded the piece to include former Batsheva Dance Company performer Perry. The work now runs nearly an hour in length.
Choreographers Leo Lerus, Roy Assaf and Michael Getman’s Fighting in Silence will also have a prestigious slot at Intimadance.
Each evening of Intimadance will be followed by a live musical performance. The final night will include the Israeli premiere of Sasha Engel’s dance film Cinema Moves.
Intimadance will take place at the Tmuna Theater from July 5-8. For more information, visit www.tmunana.org.il.