Getting the picture

The 10-day Tmuna Festival features dance or theater premieres, reinventions and highlights from the past year.

Getting the picture (photo credit: Courtesy)
Getting the picture
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Tucked away on a not-so-traveled street in the western section of the city, Tel Aviv’s fringe hub, Tmuna Theater, is a beacon for emerging performers and adventure-seeking audiences. Perhaps less polished than its cultural counterparts; Tmuna offers an industrial, do-it-yourself kind of feel for the spectator. And while its surroundings may not scream glamor, some of Israel’s most treasured stage creations have emerged from Tmuna’s halls.
On Tuesday, the theater kicked off its annual Tmuna Festival. Over the course of 10 days, the various spaces of the Tmuna Theater will host premieres, reinventions and highlights from the past year of creation. Each evening has a program that features either dance or theater, as well as a live musical performance. The festival, curated by artistic director Nava Zuckerman, together with Yair Vardi, is a smorgasbord of all the best goodies that have passed through the theater in recent months. And the good news is that all tickets cost NIS 30, made possible by support from the Tel Aviv Municipality.
Michal Herman has been a longtime frequenter of Tmuna’s stages. A veteran of the Intimadance Festival, Herman presents witty choreographies that have thrived in the intimate environs of the amphitheater. For this festival, she decided to take on a new space. Her premiere, Plan B, will be performed in the garage. Audiences can expect to feel most welcome, as Herman’s newest creation is an ode to the friendly façade of flight crew members. Herman will be joined on stage by seasoned performer Inbal Shahar.
Anat Eisenberg’s A Provocation Pure and Simple is a duet for two Berlin-based female dancers. Saga Sigurdardottir and Dani Brown are powerful performers, who each bring her own femininity and charisma to Eisenberg’s opus. Though Eisenberg’s work has been shown many times in Israel, this piece is a guest production from Berlin, where Eisenberg currently lives and works. Drawing images from the digital sphere, A Provocation resonates with the manifold changes the Internet and media world bring to their users every day.
Niv Shenfeld and Oren Laor will host another stand-out premiere at the festival. Their premiere of Two Room Apartment marks the first revival of an Israeli choreography. The original Two Room Apartment was first shown in 1987 by the dance-making duo Nir Ben-Gal and Liat Dror. Ben- Gal and Dror’s work is considered a seminal Israeli piece and a landmark for a shift in local creation. In the years since, many choreographers have referenced this piece; however, no one has ever attempted to recreate it. Shenfeld and Laor will perform the duet themselves, using Ben- Gal and Dror’s work as a close inspiration.
For local choreographers, there are two major events hosted at Tmuna each year: the Intimadance Festival and the Agenre Festival. Both events host new and emerging choreographers during several evenings of mixed programs. Most local dance-makers have enjoyed at least one premiere during one of these two fringe festivals. The Intimadance Festival challenges choreographers to take on a certain trigger or inspiration, while A-genre opens its doors to theater and dance pieces that think outside of the box, so to speak. In the mixed program section of the festival, two evenings will showcase the best of this past year’s Intimadance and A-genre festivals. The evenings will include works by Omer Uziel and Yuval Goldstein, Maya Yogel, Dana Ruttenberg and Olivia Court Mesa.
Following the performances each evening, a musical performance will be held in the bar space or in one of the theater halls. Musicians to take the stage are Dikla, Avi the Singer and Amir Lev.
The Tmuna Festival will take place through October 27. For more information, visit