Rain dance

Yasmeen Godder’s "Storm End Come" evokes a torrent of energy and excitement.

Dancers (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
(photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
The sense that a storm is about to arrive is one that most animals intuitively have.
Whether it is the whining of a dog moments before thunder strikes or that eerie yellow light that floods the sky just as raindrops begin to fall when a tempest is on the way, everyone seems to know it.
Countless scientific studies have been done on the crucial instants before the eye of a storm takes shape. And though many anticipate these occurrences with fear, storms can also evoke a great deal of excitement and energy.
In 2011, Yasmeen Godder added herself to the list of people to take on the wily nature of natural disasters.
Her work Storm End Come, which was choreographed in collaboration with Godder’s life partner Itzik Giuli, premiered in Tel Aviv and has since toured extensively. Having recently returned from The Netherlands, Godder and her gang will give local audiences an opportunity to take in the storm before setting off once again.
Since the premiere of Storm End Come, Godder has given birth, presented a new work for the Batsheva Dance Company and taught workshops to participants around the world.
Godder’s importance in the Israeli dance community cannot be underestimated. At a time when a handful of voices dominated the scene, Godder virtually exploded into the arena with her calculated wildness.
Upon completing a BA in New York City, Godder returned to Israel with an agenda. Fully armed with an arsenal of outrageous choreographic ideas, Godder touched down in Tel Aviv and got to work. In New York, she won a prestigious Bessie Award for her piece I Feel Funny Today. In the years that followed, her unconventional pieces, such as Strawberry Cream and Gunpowder and I’m Mean, I Am generated tidal waves of criticism and admiration. It didn’t take long for international audiences to catch a whiff of what Godder was cooking up in Israel. For the past 10 years, she has been presented by the most prestigious venues and festivals and has shown her work countless times. Her semester-long workshop for pre-professional dancers has steadily grown in attendance over the past several years. She has also initiated a program for teenagers, housed in the Jewish-Arab Center in Jaffa, which uses improvisation and dance as a vehicle to promote tolerance and understanding among youth.
Godder’s approach to dance has changed the way many see the art of choreography. To see her perform is to witness a true artist command the stage. Her use of vocalization, facial expressions and unusual movements has defined a new genre of performance, one that is less concerned with beauty and is more willing to reveal blood and guts. Her influence can be seen in the creations of many local and international artists.
Storm End Come began in July of 2010 as a site-specific production for the Opera Estate Festival in Italy.
Godder went on to co-produce a fuller expression of the piece, which was shown in a distillery with three bodies: The Grand Theater in Groningen, The Netherlands; Culturescapes in Basel, Switzerland; and Centra Per La Scena Contemporanea in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy (home to the Opera Estate Festival). Though program notes on each work are available, it is often difficult to discern the exact intended meaning of Godder’s work, as many ideas are presented abstractly. Godder is gifted at building and subsequently unraveling complex psychological states.
This is Godder’s ninth evening-length work and is performed by six artists.
Storm End Come will run at the Suzanne Dellal Center on April 27 and 28 at 9 p.m. For more dates and information, visit www.yasmeengodder.com. For tickets, call (03) 510-5656 or visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.