French for five days

French Connection II offers its audiences an abstract form of dance.

french connection 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
french connection 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Unlike anything previously seen in Israel, French Connection II offers its audiences an abstract form of dance. Yair Vardi, director of Tel Aviv's Suzanne Dellal Center, decided to bring French dance back to Israel for this 5-day event following the success of the first French Connection in 2005. Straying from the norm that is contemporary avant-garde French dance, Suzanne Dellal will present five very different and unique dance compositions. Each performance intertwines the use of mind and body with music, visual arts, cinematography and video, expressing dance in an innovative, conceptual manner with a common thread that binds each performance to the next by way of form and technique. "Some use visual arts in the beginning, some at the end, and some throughout. The visual art is used as another partner. You don't know what to expect," Vardi explains, adding that the likes of such performances are so distinct and progressive that Israel may never see the likes of such composition again in the near future. The first performance, Remote, was choreographed by Alban Richardis and is to be performed by the L'Abtupt Ensemble. The dance, to be held this Monday, was inspired by the story and music of Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, a German opera about a medieval romantic love-triangle in three acts. Bernardo Montet will perform a solo piece called Batrachian, Afternoon on Tuesday and will be accompanied by the music of Disk Jockeys. Montet expands the limits of body and territory, embodying the role of an amphibian emerging from the water for the first time. The next day, Wednesday, the Herman Diephuis group will perform their work Delilah and Samson. Expressing the passion of Delilah and Samson through dance, the story begins with opposing characters who go on to rediscover themselves and then come together as one. The Sylvain Groud Company will perform two pieces on Thursday. The first is Omission, which shows the result of tribute without memory demonstrated by the dancers movements lacking specific awareness of their bodies. The second is Preoccupied Zones, the inspiration for which came about in the aftermath of September 11. This piece exhibits a quest for optimism and courage resulting from the examination of the forbidden and explores the notion of borders within the limits of the mind. Christian Rizzo and the association fragile end the event with their performance on Friday, April 18 with the solo performance Like Skull, Like Cult. Rizzo represents an unreal character who abandons his role in the world to become a symbol of the rough motorcyclist culture. Co-sponsored by an array of local and international groups and organizations including the French government, French Connection II, the "event shows that Israel is a hospitable environment willing to understand these dance forms," Vardi says. He adds that this is significant because it represents Israel's openness to different cultural experiences within the world of dance. In constant connection with French culture, dance and the scene in general, Vardi selected each of these pieces for their individual qualities. Four of the five performances are quite new and even unknown to most audiences. "It is all very new to me," Vardi says, "which makes it very exciting. Sometimes you just got to take chances in life." The Suzanne Dellal Center is located at 5 Yehiel Street, Neve Tzedek. The first four performances begin at 9 p.m. and the fifth at 10 p.m. Tickets range in price from NIS 75 to NIS 95 and may be ordered by calling (03) 510-5656 or by visiting