Dance: Cool running

The summer-long Tel Aviv Dance Festival kicks off this weekend.

Peridance contemporary dance company from New York (photo credit: DEKEL HAMATIAN)
Peridance contemporary dance company from New York
(photo credit: DEKEL HAMATIAN)
This afternoon while biking around Tel Aviv, I paused next to a Coca-Cola delivery truck just to enjoy the cold air it was exuding. Short of putting one’s head in the freezer, locals will go to any lengths to cool off during the hot summer months. An air-conditioned location such as a movie theater or museum is often more welcomed than a winning lottery ticket.
For this reason, the Suzanne Dellal Center established the Tel Aviv Dance Festival, formerly the Hot Dance Festival, to lure audiences into the coolness all summer long. The festival kicks off this weekend and runs through the end of August, featuring performances by local and foreign troupes.
As always, the festival will begin with two works by Ohad Naharin – Last Work and Max. Last Work was premiered recently by the Batsheva Dance Company. In spite of its ominous title, it is not the last we will hear from Naharin. The Batsheva Ensemble will perform Max, which premiered in 2007 and has been presented around the world. A cast of 10 dances this work to an eclectic soundtrack, which is one of Batsheva’s “chamber” pieces.
The Beersheba-based Kamea Dance Company will have a significant presence during the summer months. Over the course of the festival, Tamir Ginz and his dancers will present four programs, two of which are world premieres.
Gleech is the company’s new work for children. Danced to current Israeli songs, Gleech follows a group of tweens through friendship, quarrels and crushes. The show is recommended for middle school and high school aged students and involves audience participation.
Kamea will also present the time-tested children’s performance Dream Toy. Suitable for ages four and up, Dream Toy is a combination of dance and theater.
The narrative of this story evokes the plot of the film Toy Story, in which old and new toys vie for the attention of a little boy.
Kamea will also premiere a joint program choreographed by Tamir Ginz and Itzik Galili. The evening consists of Things I Told Nobody, which was originally choreographed for Galili’s company in Holland. The piece premiered in 2000 and has since been performed by several companies around the world. For this program, Ginz created Red Sky.
The piece was made as a way for Ginz and the dancers to process the events of last summer.
Kamea will also perform Ginz’s Carmina Burana.
Out-of-town guests to perform in this year’s festival include New York City’s Peridance Contemporary Dance Company under the artistic direction of Igal Perry. Perry left Israel more than three decades ago for America. He established the Peridance Capezio Center in downtown Manhattan shortly after, which today is one of the most active dance hubs in the world.
PCDC presents works created by Perry, as well as commissions by outside choreographers. For its Tel Aviv debut, PCDC will present a mixed program of works by three leading choreographers.
In addition to the presence of international companies in the program, Tel Aviv Dance also boasts a long list of local, independent choreographers. Sally Ann Friedland will premiere a new trio entitled Pnina in late July. Gil Kerer, Adi Weinberg and Noa Shiloh will share an evening in early August. Batsheva veterans Noa Zuk, Guy Shomroni, Yaniv Avraham and Osnat Kelner will come together to present four works. Established fringe choreographer Dafi Eltabeb will host young choreographers Shuli Enosh and Yonatan Bar-Or in a joint evening. And dynamic duo Yossi Berg and Oded Graf will once again present the evening Animal Lost.
For flamenco lovers, Tel Aviv Dance will offer performances by local troupe Compas Israeli Flamenco Company, as well as celebrated performer Eva Yerbabuena from Spain.
Tel Aviv Dance will take place from June 26 through August 31.
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