Dance about dance

Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company will perform in Tel Aviv.

Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company  (photo credit: RAFFAELE IRACE)
Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company
(photo credit: RAFFAELE IRACE)
Whenever Italian-born, Germany-based choreographer Jacopo Godani sets foot in Israel, he feels at home. He cannot explain exactly why, but as long as he can remember, Israel, specifically Tel Aviv, has felt like home.
“I feel so good there,” he explains over Skype. “Over the years I have made all kinds of excuses to go. I have taught workshops, was dancing, made pieces…” Next month, immediately after the end of the Jewish holidays and his 50th birthday, Godani will return to Israel to present his new home company, Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company.
The German cities of Dresden and Frankfurt are not new to Godani. He spent major chunks of his professional career there, most notably as a leading dancer in William Forsythe’s troupe. Since leaving Forsythe in 2000, Godani has traveled the world creating works for top dance companies such as Royal Dance Ballet, Sydney Dance Company and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. In 2015, Godani was invited back to Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company to take up the reins.
The transition, in his words, was challenging.
“Dance-wise, it was different because the style the company was doing was extremely theatrical and contemporary and my style is more balletic, so there was no question if the dancers would stay or not. The whole team changed, and the administration had to change things accordingly,” he says.
With his new cast and artistic team in hand, Godani set about doing what he has become known for, putting dance at the center of dance. His choreographies focus on pure movement, on letting the body tell a story without distractions, substitutions or embellishments.
“It’s dance that is about dance.
It’s not surrounded by extra support like costume and lights. I mean we have that, it’s important for the environment, but the research I make is about dance and choreography. It’s about the primal language of a human being, of the body, of movement.
When you go to see a painting or a sculpture, they don’t put music and colors, wind and special effects. Every form of art is accepted and respected for what it is, but somehow the general public tends to think that dance requires more like a story, people behaving like clowns, lovers, all (Raffaele Irace) out & about highlights dining events movies television 11 that. I don’t think that’s what dance should be about. It should be about movement and expression of the body, not about a character. Sometimes people say my dancing is cold, and I say, ‘I don’t know what you think about emotion.’ It’s not something that you act. We are illiterate regarding how we can use the body. It’s like having an incredible amount of words and not knowing how to use them. We use our body in a very illiterate way. We use probably 20 percent of it, of the body’s potential,” he asserts.
With his dancers, Godani attempts to transcend the normal, everyday functions of the body and mind.
“We don’t want to be exotic, artistic or eccentric. We say, ‘Let’s do an experiment of how 25 people work together every day of the year and improve ourselves.’ I work with my life and my dancers to become smarter, more intelligent and more sophisticated and to learn about how our brains, bodies and interactions work. As 20 people, we are obliged to find intelligent solutions for things. We cannot give in to conflict or egocentrism.
We must be extremely practical because we must understand what is the main purpose in what we are doing. There is no space for people to pretend to be artists. We want to show our potential and demonstrate how high our potential as human beings are as entities and as a social nucleus. I think that’s how I am trying to participate in society,” he explains.
In Israel, the company will perform Metamorphers, Echoes from a Restless Soul and Moto Perpetuo.
Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company will perform on October 13 and 14 at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit www.dresdenfrankfurtdancecompany.