Every Body tells a story

Tmuna Theater’s Intimadance presents accessible works that can be enjoyed in real time

 (photo credit: ASKAF)
(photo credit: ASKAF)
Anat Katz and Erez Maayan do not enjoy uncommunicative dance works. In fact, they despise them. In their lives as choreographers and as artistic directors of Tmuna Theater’s annual Intimadance Festival, Katz and Maayan avoid overly abstract dance like the plague.
“I can’t stand when my patience is tested,” says Maayan. “I want to know in real time that I am enjoying myself and not suffering.”
As Tmuna’s flagship dance event, Intimadance has a reputation for hosting deeply experimental works. And while Katz and Maayan believe strongly in research and experimentation, they want to make sure their audiences are not alienated.
“There aren’t any pieces that are very uncommunicative,” assures Maayan over the phone. “It’s not our style as artists and not what we believe in. There are pieces that are more performance art and pieces that are more dance, but they are all accessible. We don’t know how to like pieces that are too abstract.”
Next weekend, for four days, Katz and Maayan will transform the grungy interiors of Tmuna Theater into joyous, exuberant festival grounds.
The program boasts three evenings of new Israeli works plus one world premiere of “Every Body Electric” by internationally renowned choreographer Doris Uhlich. To make this happen, Katz and Maayan have pulled out all the stops, drawing on artists and collaborators in a variety of visual arts fields to spruce up Tmuna’s black halls.
“There are a lot of things going on outside of the programs,” says Maayan. “You come to an event where the dance is the heart, but it’s not the only content. The surroundings will be amazing.
We have durational performances by Aharona Israel and Shani Ben Haim. Ascaf [the photographer] will be doing something in the bar, where the audience will take photos with X ray.
And there is a secret piece using SMSs. There are three big installations being put up.”
The three programs of new works are organized around a theme: break. Months ago, when Katz and Maayan put out the call for applications for local artists, they asked everyone to relate to the concept of a fracture or breaking point. “That’s what sets Intima apart from other festivals – that there is a subject. It changes the experience of the audience dramatically. It isn’t a festival of disjointed pieces but something with a framework. It also changes the experience of the artists,” Maayan says.
As this is their second year, following a record-breaking success in their first festival’s attendance, Katz and Maayan were overwhelmed with proposals. And unlike many artistic directors in the dance field, the two made the decision to keep the presentation/ audition process short if not sweet.
“We decided to read every single proposal and then invite people to a presentation. We decided not to do two or three presentations. I don’t think it’s okay to ask people to do three presentations without being paid. If we saw a spark of something real that moved us, we decided that we would hold hands and take a leap of faith. All we needed to see was a bit of truth or a crying out of some sort. It could be movement, emotional or thematic. Once we saw that, we said, ‘Let’s do this, regardless of the outcome!’ That was our ethical decision,” says Maayan.
The chosen artists are Gilad Jerusalmy, Oryan Yohanan, Snir Nakar, Shira Eviatar and Josette Wiggan-Freund, Noa Shavit, Annabelle Dvir, Merav Dagan, Vova Zak and Dr. Ronen Berger, Amit Zamir, Smadar Imor, Or Marin and Geva Zaibert.
Each artist or team interacts with the subject in a different way.
Maayan again assures that while there is great variety in terms of how the artists chose to relate to the concept, the works are all accessible to the audience. “That doesn’t mean that they’re all easy and full and enjoyable. There are ones that are funny and ones that are serious.
They have all been very surprising along the way.
“I can say that I am very happy with this festival, very excited and very proud of what we, meaning everyone involved, have managed to accomplish.”
The Intimadance Festival will take place June 27-30 at Tmuna Theater. Details: www.tmu-na.org.il