Room Dances Festival comes to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem

The Room Dances Festival provides a platform for artists whose aspirations were not to fill an enormous theater but to come into close contact with an intimate audience.

 A WORK by Sigal Berman (photo credit: Courtesy)
A WORK by Sigal Berman
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Thirty-two years ago, choreographer and performer Amos Hetz created the Room Dances Festival to provide a platform for artists whose aspirations were not to fill an enormous theater but to come into close contact with an intimate audience.

The need seemed critical at the time, specific to the current period and the social climate. Hetz could not have known that the relevance of the festival would not dwindle but rather intensify as a type of emotional/artistic currency that appreciated exponentially over time. The desires to strip away pretenses and communicate closely and to break down the fourth wall and approach one another are more pertinent now than ever before.

This year’s program exists within and outside the confines of the coronavirus pandemic. On the one hand, the festival will remain in step with all the current restrictions. Furthermore, one of the performances on the schedule, that of Robert Steijn and Salome Schneebeli, will not occur due to COVID-19-related issues. On the other hand, the performances will offer uniquely simplistic and personal perspectives from artists who strive to see eye to eye with their audiences, something that has been hard to come by of late.

The program is divided into three evenings and will be performed in both Tel Aviv, at the Suzanne Dellal Center’s Studio Zehava & Jack as well as in Jerusalem’s Hazira Theater. Program A features works by The Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group, Uri Turkenich, Ran Ben Dror, Tamar Lamm, Omer Uziel and Hetz. Program B, which was meant to include Steijn and Schneebeli as well as Hetz, will now offer a conversation with Hetz as well as his creation. Program C includes works by Anat Shamgar and Sigal Bergman.

As in every previous year, Hetz set out a theme for this year’s festival: Alone and Together. The festival promises to offer works that are sensitive to the space they will be performed in, those observing and the internal world of the performers.

 OHAD NAHARIN’S dance creation ‘Yag.’ (credit: ASCAF) OHAD NAHARIN’S dance creation ‘Yag.’ (credit: ASCAF)

The Room Dances Festival will take place from November 11-13 at the Suzanne Dellal Center and at the Hazira Theater on November 17, 18, and 20. For more information, visit www.roomdancesfestival.com.