Dances throughout the summer

The Tel Aviv Dance Festival gets under way on August 2.

CITY CONTEMPORARY Dance Company’s ‘365 Ways of Doing and Undoing Orientalism’ (photo credit: CONRADO DY-LIACCO)
CITY CONTEMPORARY Dance Company’s ‘365 Ways of Doing and Undoing Orientalism’
(photo credit: CONRADO DY-LIACCO)
If you’ve been to the Suzanne Dellal Center in the past few months, you probably noticed a change in the visitor experience.
Where once stood a pastoral courtyard, now stand tractors and construction materials, barriers and broken cinder blocks. The roof under which Israel’s best and brightest performed on the stage of the Yaron Yerushalmi hall is no longer, replaced by a gaping hole. The offices of Yair Vardi, director of the center, have been moved to a temporary home. Several major projects of the center, namely the Shades of Dance Choreography Competition and the new production of Barak Marshall and Itzik Galili, have been frozen due to budgetary issues. And yet, as the saying goes, the show must go on.
And on it will go starting in the first days of August with the annual Tel Aviv Dance Festival. Despite the extensive renovation that will place a new, third floor on top of the existing Yerushalmi building and despite a tackle with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, SDC will continue to provide the highest quality of dance performances throughout the summer, presented by both local and foreign choreographers.
The festival will begin with a performance by Michal Bratt, local flamenco artist. Bratt will present Allegory of the Cave, which was inspired by the same-titled writing of Plato’s. Written more than 2,400 years ago, this text speaks of the human experience and perception of reality. Bratt has interpreted these concepts into dance, using the flamenco genre as her medium. She will be joined on stage by four dancers and four musicians, who will play an original score composed by Spanish guitarist Jose “El Fyty” Carillo.
Veteran South African and Israeli choreographer Sally Anne Friedland will reveal her newest creation, Anemone. Danced by five, this piece is a dialogue between the human form and light. Friedland explores the impact of shadows, beams and rays of light on the body and on the interaction between a group.
From farther afield, American-born Berlin-based choreographer Roderick George will present work in Israel for the first time. In Dust, George, an established dancer who has worked with some of the dance world’s biggest names, strives to marry the various dance styles that he practices. Together with three of his peers, George flows through classical ballet, contemporary, neoclassical and hip hop techniques in a performance that is virtuosic and personal.
Returning to Israel is Beijing Dance LDTX. A recent staple in SDC’s programming, Beijing Dance will perform Cold Arrow – Game of Go Weiqi. This performance is inspired by the ancient game of Go, in which the player is trapped inside a fortress and must find a strategy to escape. The 14 dancers of the company depict instances from everyday Chinese life and folklore in a dynamic and engaging show.
Or Marin and Oran Nahum will present Void #2, a restaged version of an earlier work of the couple’s. Danced by the formidable Maayan Horesh, Eli Cohen and Hila Zohar, the piece looks at femininity, female relationships and the concept of beauty.
Yasmeen Godder brings to Tel Aviv Dance another restaging, this time of her 2003 seminal duet Two Playful Pink. Originally performed by Godder and longtime collaborator Iris Erez, this duet investigates the female gaze, the place of women on stage, the relationship between two deeply connected yet different creatures and punk music. For this new version, Godder enlisted Dor Frank and Francesca Foscarini, who bring a strawberry blond interpretation to Godder and Erez’s brunette vibes.
Turkey’s Modern Dance Theater Istanbul will present Travelogue. Artistic director and choreographer Beyhan Murphy was inspired by the writings of Ottoman explorer Evliya Chelebi, who spent more than 40 years trekking through the empire. The piece is a love letter to travel, to Turkey and to the rich history of the region.
Finally, Hong Kong’s City Contemporary Dance Company will present 365 Ways of Doing and Undoing Orientalism. In this cynical and fresh piece by Willy Tsao, Sang Jijia and Xing Liang, CCDC breaks through stereotypes about the East by owning them.
Tel Aviv Dance will take place from August 2 through October 31. For more information, visit