A simple twist of fate

Nadine Bommer premieres ‘Sepia’ in Tel Aviv.

Nadine Bommer premieres ‘Sepia’ (photo credit: PR)
Nadine Bommer premieres ‘Sepia’
(photo credit: PR)
"I need to wake up from this dream, but as long as I’m in it, I’ll enjoy it,” says Nadine Bommer. She took a moment from stage rehearsals to talk about the incredible turn her life has taken over the past two years.
Many may know Bommer from her Rishon Lezion-based company Animato; however, few know of the rapid and fairy-tale like succession of events that has taken Bommer from the center of Israel to the center of New York City.
“Two or three years ago, my company went to perform at the APAP conference [Association for Performing Arts Presenters]. We met someone there who was really excited about my work who invests in art. He suggested that I come and create a company in the same style as my Israeli company in New York.”
What makes the story even more whimsical is that the donor prefers to remain anonymous.
From that first meeting, things progressed very quickly. Bommer and her teenage daughter relocated to Manhattan. She held an audition, which drew nearly five hundred dancers.
“I chose 10 that day and eventually narrowed it down to seven incredible dancers,” she says.
Bommer, 47, was born in New York City and raised in Israel. Her dance education took place in both countries, giving her the dynamic physicality and groundedness of Israel with the production savvy of the United States. Over the years, Bommer honed a dance method called Kinetica, which draws inspiration from water and the movement of the sea. This technique continues to be practiced and taught in her Israeli company and academy.
In New York, Bommer found herself starting from square one with her dancers, none of whom had encountered Kinetica previously.
“Transferring my style to American dancers was really difficult. I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it because their education is totally different. I spent over a year working with them to change their perspective and approach to movement,” she recounts.
One of the main differences was the ability to look inside, to let movement flow from within the body without thinking about how one looks.
“My technique is based on waves and on listening to the water inside of us. It was very hard for my American cast to release the mind and go with the senses. That moment that they connected to it was an amazing experience for all of us, and it is only getting better,” she says.
The result of the process, a new evening called Sepia, will premiere at the Suzanne Dellal Center on Friday and Saturday night.
“Sepia is about the experience of working with these dancers and teaching them the Kinetica language. I think that everything – what they felt, what we did together, the learning, the exploration – became Sepia. It’s a sea creature, and it’s from the sea,” she explains.
Following the Israeli premiere, Bommer and company will return to New York for more performances. As for the future, she prefers not to make big predictions.
“There’s no plan,” she smiles. “I enjoy living in New York and having my two companies – the Israeli one and the American one – and feel very blessed and spoiled. As long as I can, I will enjoy it and see where it takes me.”
‘Sepia’ will run at the Suzanne Dellal Center on June 3 and 4 at 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.nadinebommer.com.