Two acts for dance lovers

The ‘Two’ evening event will include both the ‘Gnawa’ and ‘Cleared for Love’ works.

Spanish dancer and choreographer Nacho Duato (photo credit: PR)
Spanish dancer and choreographer Nacho Duato
(photo credit: PR)
Eight years ago, I was showing a couple of out-of-towners around Neveh Tzedek, when we heard music coming from the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater.
We wandered in the direction of the sound and found ourselves standing at the opening of the courtyard, watching a dress rehearsal of Nacho Duato’s Gnawa, performed by his company on an outdoor stage.
A bespectacled and serene Duato sat perched high in the erected theater, microphone in hand, observing the run of his creation. He asked the dancers to repeat a section, offering a few notes. Seated beside him was Ohad Naharin.
This tour came just two years before Duato left his long-standing position at the National Dance Company of Spain.
In the time since, Duato has been to Russia, where he spent three years directing the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, and finally landed in Berlin, where he currently manages and directs the Berlin State Ballet. Before leaving Spain, Duato and his troupe performed in Israel once more, and since then, Duato’s work has not been presented in Israel.
In Tamir Ginz’s eyes, seeing Duato’s work is a must for every self-respecting dance community.
“Nacho Duato is the crème de la crème in the choreographic world,” says Ginz over the phone. Ginz’s troupe, the Beersheba-based Kamea Dance Company, will be the first Israeli company to perform Duato’s work, a feat that required patience and perseverance from Ginz. The evening, titled “Two,” will include Gnawa as well as a new work by Ginz, Cleared for Love.
“He is very choosy about which companies will get to perform his pieces. Three or four years ago, we started negotiating, and he checked the company to see if we could do that. My idea is to have international masterpieces come into the Kamea repertoire besides my work, because we mostly do my work. I would like the dancers and our audience to have the opportunity to see a great work performed by an Israeli company.”
The vetting process consisted of several meetings, video files transferred via email and many overseas conversations.
“The biggest thing was to get Nacho to trust us. It took a long negotiation, a long time, to get there,” explains Ginz, adding that the agreement allows Kamea exclusive rights to Duato’s works in Israel.
The program was selected together.
“He suggested a few pieces to the company. Many of his pieces were performed by a huge number of dancers. There are 120 people in the Berlin State Ballet. Some of his works we knew we couldn’t perform, because we only have 14 dancers. And some are on pointe shoes, which is not our focus.
“From the few pieces he suggested, we conducted a conversation that lasted over a year. In the end, we chose Gnawa because it’s a very strong piece, very well known, not very old and has Moroccan music with a Spanish twist. I think that for Israel in 2017, it will be really groovy for a company to have this sizzle on stage,” says Ginz.
The second part of the program is another small triumph for Ginz. After years of drawing inspiration from the political situation in his southern environs, Ginz changed topics and created a work about love.
“I’m presenting a piece which is very dear to me,” he says. “We, me and the dancers, looked at the oldest word in the book of love. Usually we relate to love in terms of crisis, threat, era, a narrative story. I was considering the ingredients of what love means and how we feel about it. What came out is a very personal work that I hope will touch a lot of people. [I hope] that people will find themselves in the work, longing, romanticizing, aching but most of all yearning, a feeling that we cannot dissect scientifically.”
“Two” will be presented at the Suzanne Dellal Center on March 21 and 22. For more information: