A glimpse into Goya

Artwork and footwork coalesce in Miguel Angel Berna’s latest dance piece, a tribute to one of Spain’s most beloved painters.

Goya 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Goya 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
If one were to look only at the international dance companies that have performed in Israel in the past year, it would seem that Spain has a firm hold on our audiences. We have hosted dozens of artists hailing from Madrid, Barcelona, Andalusia and farther afield and seem only to want more. This past summer, the Madridanza festival was specifically dedicated to showcasing the best of current Spanish dance.
It is safe to say that Israeli audiences appreciate flamenco dancing. Perhaps it is the warm air that wafts through both countries that links our artistic tastes. Maybe flamenco is just a whole lot of fun to watch.
Now joining the long list of accomplished Spanish artists to visit us, which has included Rafael Amargo and Antonio Najarro, is Miguel Angel Berna. He has visited Israel before as a soloist, but for this engagement at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, he has invited his company of dancers to join him on stage. This week, Berna’s Danze Viva will perform Goya, a new piece by Berna as part of Tel Aviv Dance 2010.
Growing up in Spain, Berna was no stranger to dance. He was born in Sargossa, in the northeast of the country. This region, Aragon, is famous for jota, a type of music and dance that focuses largely focused on the playing of castanets. By the age of 10, Berna was already a veteran of the stage, where he performed jota. Although it is practiced around the area, Sargossa is regarded as the true home of jota and the place where one is most likely to see the art in its purest form.
As a young man, Berna strived to blend the style of his youth with modern-day flamenco. In 2001, he founded his company Danze Viva and won immediate attention with Templanza, his creation for the troupe. In the past decade, Danze Viva has enjoyed season after season of creativity and international acclaim.
Goya is an insight into the works of cherished Spanish painter Francisco Goya, who is also a native of Aragon. Throughout the evening, the backdrop shows projections of Berna’s favorite Goya creations. A harrowing set by Juan Pedro Gaspar all but transports the audience onto Goya’s canvas. The dance piece is deeply theatrical and should be a memorable experience.
Goya will run on October 10 and 12 at 9 p.m. For tickets, visit www.israel-opera.co.il or call (03) 692-7777.