Dance: Making a spectacle

This year’s Diver Festival is expected to exceed all expectations.

Diver Festival (photo credit: VALERIE ARCENO)
Diver Festival
(photo credit: VALERIE ARCENO)
To tell people that they are “making a spectacle” of themselves is to criticize their actions harshly. However, oftentimes a spectacle is exactly what people, especially performers, are trying to make. The term has been around for centuries. Derived from the Latin word spectaculum or “show,” a spectacle is a memorable event.
This year’s Diver Festival asks audience members to suspend their prejudice against the word and to welcome the type of conscious attention-seeking that is part and parcel of stage presence. Presenting various versions of what artistic directors Moshe Avshalom Shechter and Ido Feder refer to as “ex-spectacles,” Diver is a carefully curated happening.
The festival will take place starting next week and will fill three September weekends with performances by local and foreign artists. The events will take place in a number of locations, including the Suzanne Dellal Center, the Tel Aviv Museum for Art, Tmuna Theater and Warehouse 2 in Jaffa.
German choreographer and writer Raimond Hoghe will host the opening event. Writing with Words and Bodies will consist of a screening of the work Sacre-The Rite of Spring, followed by a lecture and discussion with Hoghe. During the festival, Hoghe will also present the duet L’Apres-midi, danced together with Emmanuel Eggermont.
Hoghe is a distinct figure in the dance community. He began as a writer, publishing portraits of a wide range of individuals in German newspapers. In the late 1970s he was introduced to Pina Bausch, with whom he collaborated for more than a decade. He has been creating his own choreographies in 1989. His works are often biographical and deal with notions of beauty, politics and social norms. This will be Hoghe’s first time presenting work in Israel.
The first weekend of the festival will also feature the premiere of a new work by choreographer May Zarhy and musician Michal Oppenheim entitled Yes. Zarhy and Oppenheim met several months ago at a performance and quickly agreed to embark upon a collaborative process. To the studio Zarhy brought a wealth of movement knowledge gained over years working with leading choreographers in Europe. In fact, this is Zarhy’s first creation since returning to Israel from Germany.
Oppenheim contributed her expertise in vocalization and music. Together, the two women slowly built bridges between their worlds, which became the foundation of Yes.
Other performances on the first week’s program include Maayan Danoch’s Space Ballet; Shahar Binyamini’s Kulukulupa; and an event hosted by Tights: Dance-Thought Alliance, which will focus on the concept of the Ex-Spectacle.
The second week of Diver will feature French choreographer David Wampach’s first performances in Israel. Wampach is a rising star in the European dance community. Hailing from the theater world, Wampach creates choreographies that are expressive and insightful. He is drawn to the notion of the trance and explores it in various ways in his creations.
Wampach will present three pieces: Veine, Batterie and Sacre.
Meital Raz and Lee Meir will present the premiere of Play Dead. Also on the bill for week two is a new tradition of the Diver Festival called Never Forget. The goal of this initiative is to pay homage to the rich history of the dance world. This year, Diver will host The Chamber Dance Group with a screening and life performance of Noa Eshkol’s works, followed by a discussion.
The third and final week of Diver will include Niv Shenfeld and Oren Laor’s new work Cowboy; Arkadi Zaides’s A Response to Dig Deep; and Ariel Cohen’s One Sun for Everyone.
The closing event, Ex-Spectacle: Made In Israel, will include works by Sigal Bergman, Shira Eviatar and Tzion Abraham Hazan.
The Diver Festival will take place from August 31 through September 19. For more information, visit