Check and mate

Celebrated teacher and choreographer Nadine Bommer's ensemble troupe performs two pieces at Suzanne Dellal.

dancer (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
We admire dancers on stage for their form, their skill and their grace. We revel in the fact that they can do things with their bodies that most of us would never dream of attempting. However, we don't often consider how they became what they are. It is no secret that one of the biggest assets anyone can have is a great teacher. Every dancer that makes it to the performance level has undoubtedly passed through the hands of at least one important instructor. In Israel, many phenomenal dancers would say that the influential person on their career path, was Nadine Bommer. This week, The Ensemble of The Academy of Nadine Bommer performs at Neve Tzedek's Suzanne Dellal Center. Based in Rishon Lezion, Bommer has a phenomenal reputation for turning out excellent young dancers. In addition to her academy, which hosts Israel's top dance teachers - in an array of styles - Bommer has an ensemble of former students (aged 18 and 19) and a professional company (aged 25 and up). The latter performs the evening's two pieces, To Continue Forward and Forces, are both excellent opportunities for audiences to take a good look at the up-and-coming talents of the Israeli dance world. To Continue Forward was choreographed in 1995, specifically for Bommer's use by American choreographer Suzy Taylor. It is an emotional and dramatic work about a woman's ability to push herself forward, never stopping. Taylor is a force to be reckoned with in New York City. She has taught her unique style all over the world and is known as one of the strongest voices in the American dance community. As such, it is no surprise that her piece became an immediate fixture in the company's repertoire. Bommer explains, "This is the third generation of dancers to execute Suzy Taylor's creation, who has remained a close friend of the company. Over the years, the older dancers have taught the younger ones this piece as they learned it themselves. This year a new generation is emerging from the academy and, as every previous group, they too will perform Taylor's work as their first experience on stage as an ensemble." The evening's second piece, Forces, is Bommer's own signature work. In it the stage is transformed into a larger than life-sized chessboard on which dancers negotiate space and fight for their status. Using this every day and yet powerful image, Bommer depicts the four forces that direct our lives: physical energy, sexual energy, spirituality and intellect. Her dancers, dressed as horsemen and knights, prance about the stunning set, each representing one of these different elements. While Bommer has been creating for many years, she expresses both fondness and tenacity when speaking of her trade. "I wake up every morning to a world of movement," she says. "I feel that it wakes me up and makes me a fuller person. The biggest challenge is to stay honest and true to my instincts and create from a place of truth." This special evening brings together the works of two incredible women - each one a beloved teacher, a source of inspiration and a strong creative voice. The two performances begin on Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. For tickets call (03) 510-5656.