Exposing ourselves

A five-day international dance festival highlights the creative endeavors of the past year.

Ballet Black Fairytale 390 (photo credit: Sharlota Hammer)
Ballet Black Fairytale 390
(photo credit: Sharlota Hammer)
With 2012 about to come to a close, it seems like the perfect time to take stock of what we have accomplished in the past 12 months. Be it in academic pursuits, expansion of family or professional success, the weeks leading up to the new calendar are always full of introspection. In the dance community, this special time is commemorated by a unique festival, which allows locals and international guests to get their fill of the highlights of the past year in creation.
The International Exposure Festival will span five days, beginning next week at the Suzanne Dellal Center.
Performances will take place from morning to night, with theater directors, company managers and curators rushing from theater to theater. This year, perhaps more than in previous years, the influx of these guests cannot be taken for granted. In fact, until recently, the fate of this festival, like so many other events, hung in the delicate political balance of the region.
More than 100 guests have confirmed their attendance and will be making their way to Tel Aviv over the next 10 days. The list includes programmers from major festivals such as Danse Danse in Montreal, Dance Umbrella of England and Impulstanz Dance Festival in Vienna.
Also joining the crowd will be representatives from theaters in Lyons, Vancouver, New York, Saint Petersburg, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Calcutta and many more.
There are many must-see events during the festival. One of the most highly anticipated performances in this year’s program is that of Sharon Eyal’s new company. Last season, Eyal informed her fans that she would be leaving her longtime home at the Batsheva Dance Company. Striking out on her own, alongside partner Guy Behar, Eyal set sail for Sweden, where she and her dancers enjoyed a residency at GöteborgsOperans Danskompani.
Half of her cast was comprised of former Batsheva dancers, such as Bobbi Smith and Tom Engel, who broke off from the troupe to join Eyal. The other half was assembled abroad.
Now, after several months in the chilly environs of northern Sweden, Eyal has returned to Israel with a new piece for a new company called L.E.V. For locals, this performance is a landmark for the Israeli dance community, presenting the potential of a new company on the scene. For international guests, Eyal’s current endeavor is the source of endless interest, with programmers waiting in the wings to invite Eyal to perform on their stages.
As in previous years, all major Israeli companies will be represented during International Exposure. The Batsheva Dance Company, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Yasmeen Godder and Itzik Giuli, Kamea Dance Company and Fresco Dance Group will each show their new productions from the previous year. In addition, a host of independent choreographers will take one of the three stages at Suzanne Dellal. A selection of choreographers from the recent Curtain Up Festival have been selected for this platform and, hopefully, will receive invitations to continue performing with the premieres they unveiled.
Kicking off the festivities will be a special evening by the Vertigo Dance Company. Now celebrating their 20th season, artistic directors Adi Sha’al and Noa Wertheim have put together this evening as a sort of retrospective of their two decades of creativity. The company, which began as a small ensemble based in Jerusalem, has blossomed over the years, becoming a major force in the local dance community. The distinctive movement language of Wertheim has influenced many of her descendants, leaving an undeniable mark on the way dance is made in Israel and farther afield.
International Exposure will take place December 5 – 9 at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv. For more information, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.