Create, create, and create some more

After earning first place in an international choreography competition, the young and talented Rachel Erdos hopes to bring her skill to more stages.

Rachel Erdos 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy )
Rachel Erdos 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy )
For emerging choreographers, there are a few ways to attract attention. One way is to perform extensively at home, and another is to attend international choreography competitions. While Tel Aviv-based choreographer Rachel Erdos tried both methods, her success at the AICC (Arhaus International Choreography Competition) in Denmark last month was what turned heads. Erdos's stunning duet, Alma (meaning apple in Hungarian), won first prize. The piece was initially created for the Shades of Dance Festival 2007 at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv. It is an eloquent take on the male/female relationship in which the stage is covered in bright green apples, evoking the story of Adam and Eve. "The apple is that thing inside of yourself that, when you start a relationship, is the last bit you give of yourself," says Erdos. The piece, danced to an original score by Alberto Shwartz, was described by AICC judges as "poetical and sensual... The man/woman duet has an organic strength with its deep emotional and physical use of the body and its very natural musicality." The delicate power of Alma is intensified greatly by dancers Yoav Grinberg and Shani Katzman. Individually, Grinberg and Katzman are dynamic and physical, but it is the chemistry between them that takes Erdos's choreography the extra mile. AICC is dedicated to presenting new works by fresh dance voices from around the world. Over 100 artists applied to participate in the competition this year, of which 12 choreographers representing 11 countries were selected. It is interesting to note that the only country represented twice was Israel. Each piece had a minimum of two dancers and had been created within the past two years. At the end of the second day of the competition, five dances were chosen to contend for the grand prize - which included a financial grant and an artistic opportunity. As the winner, Erdos was invited to work on a new piece for the Mancopy Dance Company, based in Arhaus, which hosted the festival. Without a doubt, the 30-year-old Erdos has made a name for herself as a young and talented creator in Israel. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts from London's prestigious Laban Center and an Honor's Bachelor's Degree from London's Roehampton Institute. After making aliya from the UK in 2002, Erdos quickly set up shop presenting works in a number of dance festivals around Tel Aviv. In addition to her work as an independent choreographer, Erdos works as a rehearsal director for two of Israel's successful companies, Yoram Karmi's Fresco Dance Group and Sally-Ann Friedland Dance Drama Company. She is known for her impeccable eye and unfailing professionalism. Winning this festival proves that her place in the studio should not be limited to assisting others with their creative visions. "It gave me a real boost of confidence," said Erdos of her triumph at AICC. "I was in absolute shock." "Very rarely in this profession do we have something that we can take home and say, 'Look, Mommy, I won a prize.'" With such significant success in her wake, Erdos has a lot to look forward to. When asked what her future plans were, she replied, "My plans are to keep on creating. I have a new piece in the creative stage, something larger scale than the pieces I have done up till now. I am also still looking for opportunities to perform with Alma, both in Israel and abroad."