Dance Review

Female Choreographers’ Festival Suzanne Dellal, January 5-17

‘LA DIVINA’ by Shlomit Fundaminsky. (photo credit: ELIANA BEN DAVID)
‘LA DIVINA’ by Shlomit Fundaminsky.
(photo credit: ELIANA BEN DAVID)
Over the past couple of weeks, Suzanne Dellal showcased a line of works choreographed by independent female creators. It was an opportunity to catch up on works one might have missed, or revisit favorites.
I sampled three evenings.
The first evening, Quatro, contained four short pieces created mostly by fresh choreographers: Maya Michlal-Gelfand , Mira Rubinstein, Sharon Weiswasser and Keren Horesh-Bagon.
Although each piece had lovely moments, two creations stood out: Kipa’leh by the talented Rubinstein, a smart and funny interpretation of alternative interactions between Little Red Riding Hood, the sassy and sexy Wolf and resourceful Granny. The last duet that evening – Ella Prima, surprised with its mature and tight work by Horesh-Bagon, a budding choreographer. It was a touching duet with poetic layers and delicate details, danced in unison by Tal Benari and Tomer Holan, as twin souls.
A few days later Shlomit Fundaminsky repeated her wild solo La Divina, inspired by late opera singer Maria Callas, appropriately accompanied by some of Callas’ most revered arias. Fundaminsky has a strong stage presence, exceptionally expressive hands and a gutsy attitude which served her extremely well in that tour de force solo creation. She managed to portray a world-class diva devoured by her own demons, stripped out of her gowns, as her personal circumstanced changed.
The duet which followed, iWoman, a collaboration of Fundaminsky, Einat Gantz and composer Dganit Elkayam, deals with the need for women’s empowerment vis a vis their reality.
Ella Rothschild’s solo piece ACORD was by far the most ambitious endeavor. She managed to design a complex set full of transparent cords and pulleys connected to all the props, so she could control and “play” all the objects while dancing, singing, playing the autoharp and guitar, as well as reciting a long poem she wrote for the piece and quoted from her own diary.
Just following the tricks and the surprises was a show by itself. It was certainly admirable effort, which exposed her varied talents. Each component was done quite well, yet way too often operating this huge apparatus hindered the flow of the more central elements like movement and content. In ACORD, excess came with a price tag.