All ways to connect

Israeli-born choreographer Sharon Fridman and company perform at Suzanne Dellal Center next week.

Israeli-born choreographer Sharon Fridman and company (photo credit: IGNACIO URRUTIA)
Israeli-born choreographer Sharon Fridman and company
(photo credit: IGNACIO URRUTIA)
An essential part of almost all dance training methods is teaching students to focus on the bad rather than the good. Dancers learn, from an early age, to be their own harshest critics, to constantly seek out the places where they fall short and to quickly and efficiently close those gaps. Over a lifetime of striving for excellence, dance professionals often get worn down by this ceaseless ambition, this half-empty glass of personal achievement. There are few moments in which dancers can sit back, take a deep sigh and revel in their talents.
The same is true of choreographers. Though many of them have graduated from interpreting the work of others to presenting their own vision, the root of ambition lies deep within. As such, sitting in the theater to watch their own work being performed is often a grueling experience. On the outside it appears idyllic. However, most choreographers will admit that what they see when they behold their creations is where they can be better.
Sharon Fridman has spent many years working on this reflexive response. The Israel-born, Madrid-based performer and choreographer makes a point of quieting the voice that says “this isn’t perfect” and instead focuses on what has worked out, where the work succeeds and when his dancers shine.
“The most important thing for me is to feel good when I watch my work,” said Fridman in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, “not to be so critical of myself. At the same time, it’s very important to me that the dancers are in the precise spot that can allow them to get in touch with their interpretation of the work.”
Fridman will return to Israel this month to present his group work “All Ways” as part of the Suzanne Dellal Center’s International Season. This is Company Sharon Fridman’s second visit to Israel following a successful performance in the 2015 Tel Aviv Dance Festival.
Fridman, 38, hails from Hadera. He began his professional career dancing in Ido Tadmor’s company and went on to perform with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and Vertigo Dance Company. He was first exposed to life in Spain as an artists’ coordinator for Mayumana. After parting ways with the troupe, Fridman stayed on in Madrid. His international career took off when he participated in the Royal Opera House’s Dance Lines program for young choreographers in 2008 and the Choreoroam program in 2009.
His choreographic works bring together elements from the various stops along his career path. He is acutely attuned to music and creates movement that illuminates the accompanying score. At the same time, Fridman loves to challenge his dancers to explore different freedoms, occasionally appearing reckless. His partnering is virtuosic, unexpected and yet smooth as silk.
“All Ways” is no exception. Here, Fridman presents a group of men and women clad in long dresses. They entangle with one another, propel one another through the space and lift each other up.
“Gender is not an important detail in my work,” said Fridman of the unisex clothing. “This work was about finding a composition of contact between this group, the potential of movement that exists between them.”
The dancers play no roles, there are no guises or airs, no love stories or narratives. There is a rawness to “All Ways,” a candid approach to the bewildering reality of existing among a group of people, trying to get along.
“We do one thing that leads to another to another, until we start to feel something,” he explained. And somehow, regardless of the location or time, the group transforms each time. “When you tap into it, there is a frequency you get on, and it connects you to your sense of being!”
Company Sharon Fridman will perform “All Ways” on August 13 and 14 at the Suzanne Dellal Center. For more information, visit