An artistic blend of technique and technology

The dance and theater segments of this year’s Israel Festival feature a wide range of style and spectacles.

Dressed to Dance (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dressed to Dance
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The local dance community is well represented at this year’s Israel Festival, with productions by the technologically oriented L-E-V dance company of Sharon Eyal and Guy Bechar, with their show Housen ; the Franco- Israeli Emanuel Gat Dance troupe, which will perform The Goldlandbergs ; Chasser Hashalem (The Whole Is Missing) by the Kibbutz Dance Company; and Anat Gregory with Mr. Nice Guy .
On the foreign side of the dance lineup, there is a first-time foray to this part of the world by veteran Swiss outfit Grand Theatre de Geneve, while the Dressed to Dance show from Spain should set pulses racing with its exhilarating offering of flamenco and eye-catching costumes, some of which are based on designs created by iconic Spanish artists Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.
Both Housen and Dressed to Dance are site-specific endeavors, with the former taking place at the old Hansen Lepers’ Hospital, which will be unveiled to the public for the first time following an extensive refit, while the flamenco show will be held at David’s Tower.
The L-E-V offering blends dance with a generous helping of technology, with video art provided by Ran Slavin, and the final product is enhanced by music and sound effects from Uri Lichtick.
L-E-V has become renowned for its seamless integration of technological enhancement in its work, and Housen will offer the audience a close-up view of the techniques involved with the patrons seated on the Hansen building’s balconies surrounding the stage, which will be positioned in the building’s patio.
The Grand Theatre de Geneve company will perform two productions here – Glory , to music by Handel with choreography by Adonis Fondiadakis, and Les Noces to music by Stravinsky, choreographed by Didi Veldman.
The Goldlandbergs employs a curious two-part soundscape, featuring The Quiet of the Land , a radio documentary devised by legendary classical pianist Glenn Gould, and a recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations performed by Gould.
Meanwhile, Gregory’s debut creation Mr. Nice Guy examines various life dilemmas, such as the place of woman in a world in which men traditionally make the decisions, the role of the individual in the world, and how the individual contends with his or her audience.
The theater side of the festival program includes Igloo , written and directed by Yehezkel Lazarov, which tells the story of childhood friends, Lennie and Rafi, who both have some serious emotional baggage to deal with.
Festival patrons can also enjoy some envelope-pushing Japanese theater when the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, in collaboration with compatriot outfit Noda – Map, performs The Bee . The play, which is directed by the company’s artistic director Hideki Noda, tells the story of a Japanese worker who undergoes a change of personality when he discovers that his wife and son have been kidnapped. The play encompasses a wide range of emotions and employs minimalist aesthetics.
British company 1927 will stretch the visual and discipline spectrum even further with its production Animals and Children Took to the Streets , which blends live performance with animation, live music and video art in a spectacular manner. Another British puppet theater outfit, Blind Summit, will bring its The Table production here, which offers the public a new angle on the traditional art of puppetry.
On the local side of the theatrical tracks, The Zik Group will perform Mysterium Cosmographicum , which incorporates video and original music and a variety of substances, including glass, wax, charcoal and mud. Most of the members of the Zik Group are graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, the theatrical entertainment for youngsters features a performance of Shiraz’s Heart by the Orna Porat Theatre for Children and Youth.
For more information: www.israel-