Time, movement and space

Emanuel Gat to appear at ‘Tel Aviv Dance’ festival in May.

Dance Company 370 (photo credit: courtesy Emanuel Gat)
Dance Company 370
(photo credit: courtesy Emanuel Gat)
Netanya-born, Parisbased dancer and choreographer Emanuel Gat returns in May, after a seven-year absence, to perform at the Suzanne Dallal Center during the Tel Aviv Dance Festival.
Born in 1969, Gat was discovered at age 23 at a Nir Ben- Gal workshop for people with no dance experience. After two weeks’ attendance, he was asked to join the Liat Dror Nir Ben-Gal Company. By 1994, Gat had created his first solo piece, “Four Dances,” to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The next decade saw the birth of several independent dance and choreography projects, culminating in the January 2004 establishment of his own company, Emanuel Gat Dance.
Gat compares his dance to jazz in that “you work with clear information and constants, but you have the freedom to be spontaneous.”
His work has been presented at dance festivals all over the world. He received a scholarship from ballet master Albert Gaubiers’ Fund in 1995, the Rosenblum Award for Performing Arts in 2003, the Landau award in 2004 and Israel’s Culture Ministry award for outstanding dance performances in 2005.
In 2006 he was given one of Israel’s highest artistic honors.
He was selected by IcExcellence (the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation), for “exceptional artistic talent and clear potential for significant additional growth...” for motivation, determination and commitment “to artistic life, despite its inherent difficulties,” and for demonstrating “leadership promise.”
Gat and the international troupe he brings with him to Tel Aviv have been working together for the past five years.
“I really work with the dancers, I get a lot of input from them,” he says.
“Everything you see is their own material. It is about defining ways and mechanisms of composition. I make a proposition, and all the dancers respond differently.”
Evert time he begins a choreography, “it takes a different angle, but it has to do with the last thing we did.”
Gat sets the dancers “very simple tasks relating to the basic elements of choreography: time, movement and space. I set tasks that relate to them, and that generates movement immediately,” he says. He calls it “not exactly improvisation.”
Gat and his dancers “work on a lot of ways in which to modulate and translate physical information.” For example, he says, a single dancer can bring “some sort of existing material, and all the others translate it into their own bodies, but keeping to certain parameters, such as, for example, we can block height and space, or for instance, music, but leave all other parameters open.”
Later on, what has been created goes into the context of a storyline. The end result, says Gat, is “clear and precise choreography,” but, because of the way in which each dance was created, “there is an important element of spontaneity and every performance will be different and it is a constantly ongoing process,” he says.
As to what he expects audiences to take away from his shows, Gat gives an “open” response to this question.
“I make a proposition, I see art as something that helps us enhance our vision of life. I make that proposition to the audience; what they do with it is out of my control, it is an open proposition. A lot is up to each member of the audience.
But I do not impose any borders.”
About France, his homefrom- home, Gat says he is “comfortable” there. The part of Gat that feels most at home in France and speaks the language has its origins in parents who hail from the French Morocco of the 1930s and ’40s.
On the other hand, he says, “I am enjoying being the foreigner, the outsider. It gives me perspective and I find it comfortable, maybe since as an artist one is anyway on the outside looking in, to some extent.”
In that sense, Gat says, he also lives and defines himself as “without set borders.”
Performances will take place on May 23 at 9 p.m and May 24 at 2 p.m as part of the ‘Tel Aviv Dance’ festival at the Suzanne Dallal Center in Tel Aviv; tickets NIS 150-180.