Dance Review: Icetree

The new theatrical dance piece by acclaimed choreographers Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak leaves something to be desired.

Icetree dance show  (photo credit: PR)
Icetree dance show
(photo credit: PR)
Inbal Pinto and Avshlom Pollak Dance Company
Suzanne Dellal,
July 21
Icetree, by Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak, came with high expectations.
Pinto and Pollak, longtime collaborators, have produced a long line of refined theatrical dance pieces, each one unique but all interlacing poetic touches with the theater of the absurd, Ionesco-style.
But Icetree is not truly a new creation; it strongly leans on Rushes, a 30-minute work created in 2007 by Pinto and Pollak for the American dance company Pilobolus.
After Pinto and Pollak took some time apart, the pair returned to collaborate and turn the brilliant material of Rushes into a full evening work, expecting to preserve the original material and mesh it with additional elements to offer a relevant work with a character of its own.
Rushes was an extremely tight and cohesive creation and its excellent dancers filled it to the brim with grace, rich expression, virtuosic movement and a nonchalant attitude. It was witty, poetic and sparkled with refined tailoring. Icetree enjoys most of those traits; it’s full of creative imagination, busy with unusual actions and maintains the familiar touch of Pinto and Pollak’s pedantically detailed work.
Yet, it lost a noticeable measure of the individual voices of the dancers as well as some of the burning inner energy and fast rhythm. Somewhere in the process, the work was somewhat diluted compare to Rushes, which while tailored for Pilobolus fitted just as perfectly for its Israeli implementation in 2009.
There were too many repeated motifs, like the simulated ice skating, which shed some of the original’s poetic value.
The role of veteran Zvi Fishelzon, the company’s mascot, relied mostly on an overused stage persona, already a cliché, excluding the ending.
Most of the highlights of that evening, namely the acrobatic male trio, the carousel, the brilliant art-video and the female’s duet on chairs were taken from Rushes, and were not matched by the new material. So why replace an excellent work with a merely decent one?