Gotta dance

The 17th annual Ramat Hamasach festival provides a platform for 16 independent artists to showcase their work to a wide and diverse audience.

dance modern 88 (photo credit: )
dance modern 88
(photo credit: )
Logistic and economic considerations often make producing large-scale performances difficult for independent choreographers. Beginning Thursday and running through December 4, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports's 17th annual Ramat Hamasach festival provides a platform for 16 such artists to showcase their work to a wide and diverse audience. Taking place at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem's Hama'abada (The Lab), many of the works are accompanied by videos of the dancers' creations projected onto huge screens. Some 70 percent of the profits will be given to the artists, some of whom are new to the Israeli dance scene. Past festivals have established the reputations of performers such as Yossi Berg and Niv Sheinfeld, both of whom are back this year. "Taki Take One," Berg's collaboration with Inbal Yakovi and Hillel Kogan, is an improvisational piece that examines the connection between performer and audience, while Sheinfeld's "Jorona," devised with Oran Lior, depicts the complexities of the relationship between men and women. Childhood memories are revisited in Yossi Yungman's "Girl," a portrayal of youthful innocence marred by loss, performed by three dancers to original music. Yungman, who danced with the leading Bat Sheva Troupe for 10 years before establishing his own company, describes his creation as an "intimate depicting emotions we've all experienced." Those looking for a lighter alternative can enjoy the Sally-Anne Friedland Dance Drama Company's "Concerto for Four Dancers and an Orchestra," a three-movement piece accompanied by original music performed by the Ra'anana Sinfonietta. Each movement climaxes with a humorous sketch, coinciding with an upbeat extended musical interlude. In the first act, Marie-Antoinette's unsuccessful attempts to fan herself culminate in her dramatic fall to the ground, while the second features a performer donning the conductor's jacket and enacting a rock star dance. In the third movement, the artists perform as if confined in an enclosed space. Other highlights include Saar Magal's "Jukim," a poignant portrayal of the search for love and affirmation; and "Midnight," Odeliya Cooperberg's exploration of the conflicting desires for exposure and privacy. In an attempt to encourage communities at the lower end of the social scale to attend cultural events, all the artists in this year's festival will participate in a variety of reasonably priced performances throughout the country. For more information, call Hama'abada (02) 629-2001 or the Suzanne Dellal Center (03) 5105656. Tickets are NIS 70.