180 degrees of dance

The Suzanne Dellal Center has decided to spoil dance lovers with the 60-60-60 festival - 60 years of Israel, 60-minute performances for 60 shekels.

60 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Joining the myriad 60th anniversary celebrations this year, the Suzanne Dellal Center has decided to spoil dance lovers with the 60-60-60 festival - sixty years of Israel, sixty-minute performances for sixty shekels. Audiences are invited to partake in some of Israel's most exciting performances of the last few years for remarkably reasonable ticket prices. Bringing this patriotic party to the stage are the Batsheva Dance Company, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Galit Lease and Sylvia Dorian. The festivities kick off on Monday night with Gila, a multi-disciplinary evening by Galit Lease. Gila refers to the spirit of those who choose to dance their lives at every moment. The cast of seven women, between the ages of 70 and 85, is comprised of professional actresses as well as women who have only recently discovered their curiosity and desire to impart their incredible stories to others. The show includes video, theater, music, humor and story telling. Yair Vardi described this unique event as "...a moving evening, so real and honest. The creation engulfed me in warmth and serenity from the first moment." Next in the line-up is the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company's Kef Kafim. Choreographed by Rami Beer, this show is exuberant, colorful and vivacious. Unlike many of Beer's creations, this piece includes neither props nor set, instead focusing on the purity of dance and composition. The dancers wear simplistic costumes - khakis and vibrant tank tops. The focus is on the fun of movement, the joy of performance and the beauty of youth. There is an overwhelming "sense of celebration" commented one viewer. Beer, who made a name for himself with more sober pieces such as Upon Reaching the Sun and Aide Memoire, put aside politics and controversy in order to write a love letter to his art form, dance, and consequently his homeland, Israel, in Kef Kafim. Ohad Naharin's Three, performed by the Batsheva Dance Company, consists of three segments, "Bellus," "Humus" and "Secus," which have no deliberate connection to one another other than being performed in the same evening. "Bellus" is danced by ten dancers to the well-known Glen Gould recording of Bach's Rosenblum Variations. "Humus," a quirky section about the food of the same name, opens with a male dancer holding a television screen on which his own smirking face tells us how to spell and pronounce humus. Danced by the entire cast, "Secus" explodes into many duets and trios, each touching on different sentiments, together giving audiences a hypnotizing whole. Three plays with the performer/audience relationship and is devoted to "the pure pleasure of the moment," according to Naharin. A truly extraordinary event closes the festival with a one-time-only meeting of two of Israel's star Flamenco dancers, Silvia Duran and Michal Natan. Duran is a national treasure who has been called "the High Priestess of Israeli Flamenco" and "Lady of the Hands." Over the past 30 years she has pioneered, nurtured and cultivated Spanish dance in Israel. A fantastic performer and loved teacher, she is credited with raising a generation of Flamenco dancers. Michal Natan, a former student of Duran, is the founder and artistic director of Compas Dance Company, an innovative Flamenco company based in Tel Aviv, that combines creators from different fields: music, theater, fine arts and contemporary and classical dances. On a birthday so round and robust as the country's 60th, it is only fitting to give dance the center stage that it deserves. The varied 60-60-60 festival gives audiences the taste for the choreographic genius that has come out of Israel. Unique in the world, Israel has always had a soft spot for dance and continues to nurture and support some of the world's brightest lights. From the days of folk-dancing in the fields until today's ultra-contemporary Suzanne Dellal, at 60 Israel has a lot to dance about. 60-60-60 runs from June 2 to 7. For more information call (03) 510-5666 or visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.