Israel Festival: Dance overview (June 2-17)

Visually effective yet based on one basic illusion, Pindorama was engrossing entertainment.

The Batsheva Dance Company (photo credit: PR)
The Batsheva Dance Company
(photo credit: PR)
A noticeable effort was invested in the dance selections of recent editions of the Israel Festival to revive, diversify and challenge audiences with a contemporary repertoire that reflects expanding dance and performance borderlines.
The current edition, though less risky in some aspects than its predecessor, offered its own share of mild provocation since nudity gets zero tolerance at the Culture and Sports ministry, which expressed its objections publicly. Perhaps that’s one reason that the festival attracted younger audiences this year.
Well worth the attention was Fla.Co.Men by New Flamenco icon Israel Galvan.
Galvan revolutionized this centuries-old dance discipline, which preserved its traditions to the letter. In this particular creation Galvan was freer than ever, filled with humor and invention.
He danced brilliantly and left a highly excited audience.
Lia Rodrigues’s Pindorama dancers shared the large stage’s space with spectators.
A long plastic sheet was laid ceremoniously in the middle, and the audience sat on the floor along both sides. Female dancer enters; pours a bottle of water on her naked body.
Others join, and spread transparent, water-filled soft balls. The right lighting, sound effects and controlled manual shaking of the sheet, simulated a stormy river. It rolled and tossed the dancers in rich, creative ways (while also spraying the audience). Visually effective yet based on one basic illusion, Pindorama was engrossing entertainment.
Some moves from folk dance, Hora included, found their way into Christian Rizzo’s Based on a Story.
Accompanied by a group of percussionists, eight male dancers established a process of camaraderie. The group went through deconstruction phases before it found some common denominators.
The cherry on top was Relic, a wild, bittersweet, political yet hilarious performance by Euripides Laskaridis.
In a confined space filled with random remnants and found objects we meet an androgynous creature dressed in highly padded outfit that accentuates body parts. This eccentric figure in heels roams the stage in a series of surreal actions and on the way activates a complex series of sound and light effects. Laskaridis’ ingenious imagination, clever innuendos and endless wit were strikingly delicious.