The life of an artist is spent, for the most part, in limbo. Be it the interim between projects, the waiting periods between submitting proposals and receiving answers, the lulls between inspirations and on and on, an artist’s lifestyle is anything but monotonous.
In the past two years, as the world experienced an unprecedented period of uncertainty, the volatile nature of a career in the arts was amplified exponentially.
And now that some semblance of normalcy has returned to daily life, Tmuna Theater’s Intimadance Festival will provide various perspectives on the state of limbo.
“We have nine pieces that relate to this topic, each in its very own way,” explains Merav Dagan, second time co-artistic director of Intimadance, a role she shares with her close friend and creative partner Stav Marin.
Each year, the Intimadance Festival provides a platform for dance artists who are making their first choreographic work to established dancemakers.
The festival leaves a door open for experimentation, be it conceptual or physical. Unlike many of the annual festivals in Tel Aviv, Intimadance always has a theme.
For their previous festival, which took place in 2020, Dagan and Marin chose “revolution.” The two took last year off as they were both on maternity leave.
“The call went out before COVID and before the protests here. We had to work within this unstable situation, which interests both of us. In both of the themes we chose, we felt there would be something very physical but also the possibility to take it to a theoretical place,” Dagan continues.
The 2020 edition of Intimadance came out at the height of COVID uncertainties. All of the creations were filmed to prepare for a scenario in which the festival would be digital only. At the last minute, live performances were made possible, and the shows happened at the theater. This year, luckily, that pressure has been relieved from the process.
The artists participating in the festival
The artists who will participate are Yuval Gal, Dege Feder, Dana Marcus, Rotem Heller, Omry Hefetz, Shira Marek, Galia Einey, Kim Teitelbaum and Mica Kupfer.
“Each one took ‘limbo’ to their own place. The pieces are not necessarily where we thought when we put out the call with the topic. It’s always interesting to see what comes back to us,” says Dagan.
In addition, Dagan and Marin have invited Noa Elran to create lighting installations throughout the theater, musician Ifat Ziv to perform in the bar and they will host a transparent studio in which Yali Nativ and Iris Lana will produce their podcast Creatures of Dance on site.
“We are also continuing the tradition of the student stage,” says Marin.
For the past several years, Intimadance has presented short works by choreographers currently studying in one of the professional dance training programs around Israel. These works are a window into the aesthetics being developed by the youngest cut of choreographers in the country.
From the first series of presentations, Dagan and Marin made sure to be available to the artists.
“We chose based on what touched us. The subject of the festival is something that touches us. There were things that surprised us, that didn’t sit exactly with our taste, but we felt that they needed to be in the festival.
There’s a balance, in accompanying the pieces, listening to them and giving them what they need. We want to offer them something that can aid them.
“A lot of times we see things that we can say from experience as artists that we can give. We really try to give support. They knew from the first day that however much they wanted to take from us we would give and everything that we say is a suggestion. We couldn’t help but influence the processes, in how we work. It will be interesting to see it at the finish line,” says Marin.
Dagan says that what they strive to bring to artistic management, beyond taste, is how things work. “We want to bring respect to the space, to keep an open and pleasant dialogue, that’s in our foundations and we really work hard to preserve that in the chaos that leads up to the festival.”
“We want to bring respect to the space, to keep an open and pleasant dialogue, that’s in our foundations and we really work hard to preserve that in the chaos that leads up to the festival.”Merav Dagan
Being the first pair of female artistic directors to lead the festival has impacted the working atmosphere, they explain.
“We create together, and we have worked together for many years already and we were chosen for this position together, in a very surprising way, we didn’t choose to do it together, we found ourselves doing it together.
We are new mothers together. It’s interesting how it influences what goes into the festival. We didn’t notice but our team is very female. We have Alina Zhutovsky, the producer.
We have Ifat, who is also a young mother, and Noa and Shani Ben Haim, who is the graphic designer. They are all mothers. We sit at production meetings and when the theater’s staff arrives, we find our very female staff next to the very male theater staff.
“It feels good, it’s moving, and it brings a very important value to this thing and it’s connected to the limbo. To be mothers and manage to direct a festival, to manage to create and perform, to be a home, to be the best, loving, accepting mothers who are present, and be whole in each place. We try not to come apart but to be filled by it.”
Intimadance will take place at Tmuna Theater on August 31 and September 1-3. For more information, visit www.tmu-na.org.il.