On board the bus

Dana Katz takes the audience on a wild ride at the Hot Dance Festival in Tel Aviv.

Dana Katz 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dana Katz 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
One year ago, dancer and choreographer Dana Katz unveiled the fruit of two years of hard and painstaking work. Over three evenings at the Inbal Theater in The Suzanne Dellal Center, Katz presented EgoBus, a hip, cutting-edge multimedia dance piece set on three dancers, Katz included. Katz spent the better part of two years filming, choreographing and editing EgoBus. The debut of the piece was especially charged with excitement and anticipation for Katz and her devoted posse of fans.
In the past year, Katz has taken the wheel, so to speak, of EgoBus.
After having performed on stages in the US and Europe, Katz returns to the Inbal Theater to present EgoBus and two new works, which were created along the way. Most recently the ACT Festival in Bilbao, Spain, hosted the Danaka Dance Group. This evening is part of the Hot Dance Festival at The Suzanne Dellal Center.
In EgoBus, the audience joins Katz on a trip, which is both literal and figurative. On the back wall of the stage, a video shows men and women waiting for the bus. Some of the bus stops are realistic; while others are set in the middle of a rising tide or set between grapevines in a vineyard.
At different points during the piece, dancers get on and off the bus and are shown either in the video or on stage. When it rains outside, the dancers seek shelter on the bus. The work begins in the middle of the traffic-filled streets of a major city. As the piece progresses, the landscape outside the windows of the bus goes from urban to rural, ending at the beach. Katz has a strong tie with the ocean and has been surfing for years. As such, the beach represents ultimate release and freedom. EgoBus is about Katz’s quest to find quiet amidst all the tribulations of life, she explained.
Shortly after the premiere of EgoBus, Katz was invited to Martha’s Vineyard to create a new work for The Bessie Schonberg choreographer’s residency at The Yard. Over the course of one month, Katz worked with five local dancers.
The result was Old Cherry Blossom Road, a dark piece about the closeness and conflict in a community of women. Lanterns give the stage a warm, nighttime glow.
The music by Ofir Leibovich is both soft and tense, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.
Upon finishing her engagement in Martha’s Vineyard, Katz set off for New York, where she and her dancers performed in White Wave’s Cool Dance Festival. As Katz is based in both New York and Tel Aviv, she has established two casts for this work. The Israeli cast of Old Cherry Blossom Road includes Shimrit Golan, Danielle Itshakov, Elior Briskin, Katz, and Mor Gur Arie, who were part of the original cast.
The final work in Katz’s upcoming evening is You and I. The newest of the three, it is a duet danced by Katz and Mor Gur-Arie. Gur-Arie and Katz have enjoyed a long friendship and creative partnership. Three years ago, Gur-Arie relocated to New York from Tel Aviv to pursue an American dance career. Commissioned by the Triskelion Arts Center in New York City, You And I tells the story of the struggle to maintain a bond of friendship in spite of physical separation. The score is by Alva Noto.
This is Katz’s first full evening of work and promises to be a unique and moving event.
EgoBus will run at the Inbal Theater on July 30. For tickets, call (03) 510-5656 or visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.