The term 'pitching' is currently used mainly in the context of start-up activities. This format is also used in the film industry for similar reasons. It's a frame that initiates an opportunity to introduce one's vision for a project, and try to convince professionals in a similar domain of the project's merits and its feasibility.
The original venture “Pitching For Dance” will be practiced in Israel for the very first time. It is a rarity anywhere else in the context of dance.
"It is an experiment, a pilot,” says Naomi Perlov, artistic director of the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater and initiator of the project. “I was inspired by watching many pitching events for documentary films at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, named after my father, David Perlov. I borrowed the format and recharged it.”
The project is nestled comfortably next to the firmly established dance framework “International Exposure” at Suzanne Dellal. It attracted many foreign professional guests that came to find the best dance crop on their yearly visit, since local productions enjoyed a reputation as attractive, worthy dance creations. If the terms were right, dance groups were invited to perform at various theaters or festivals abroad.
Hopefully, “Pitching For Dance” will draw similar attention if this pilot comes to fruition, since its framework is quite promising. “We produce platforms that enable dancers/choreographers to prepare future works that can be materialized,” said Dellal’s CEO Anat Fischer-Leventon. The idea is to connect the local artists with international professionals that eventually will support them by producing or co-producing their best proposals as well as introducing them to other work options abroad, from residency to creating original works for companies abroad.
Just a few weeks ago, the staff of Dellal center, which invested long months to produce both projects, had kept their fingers crossed, remembering the prolonged COVID periods which turned the tables. Now again, we may face a wave of a new variant reminding how volatile international travel plans can be.
Fortunately, Suzanne Dellal’s staff was ready for alternatives. As the time passed more and more guests canceled their arrival due to the new virus. The number of jury members that planned to come and view the pitching's propositions had dwindled. Only five international guests remained on the jury's list, led by respected Holland Dance Festival's director, Samuel Wuersten. Twelve dancers await the jury's decision. Each of the dancers will pitch his ideas to the jury for 5 minutes and present a short video of his project. Wuersten already announced that he decided to invite one program to perform at the next Holland Dance Festival, and expects more invitations to follow.
As part of our reality, both events will be mediated to viewers via streaming. It’s inevitable, yet frustrating, to think that on upcoming “International Exposure” all the dances will be seen on screens instead of stages. Are the festive, energy charged days of the former editions of 'exposure' gone?
Dance needs to be experienced live in venues or outdoors. Any digital intervention reduces layers of the work’s artistic value. Dance mediated solely by screens is like kissing through a handkerchief, as the saying goes. Hopefully, we won’t have to get used to it.