Dance: Re-wrapped

Pinto and Pollack present an updated version of their acclaimed debut piece ‘Wrapped.’

Pinto and Pollack (photo credit: PR)
Pinto and Pollack
(photo credit: PR)
Almost 20 years ago, during the 1997 Curtain Up Festival at the Suzanne Dellal Center, a young choreographer and her partner made a major debut. Inbal Pinto had recently left the ranks of Batsheva Dance Company and, together with actor Avshalom Pollack, struck out to put her mark on the dance world.
Their premiere piece Wrapped left no doubt that these two creators meant business. The clear esthetic, together with deft movement language and beautiful execution of the dancers, made this work a standout moment for the Israeli dance community. The piece was such a success, that it brought home a prestigious Bessie Award.
Now, after a decade on the shelf, Pinto and Pollack have dusted Wrapped off and are presenting it anew. Wrapped was inspired by New York City, where Pinto spent several years. Drawing on the sounds and energy of the raging metropolis, Pinto put together a type of moving urban myth comprised of a colorful cast of characters.
“As artists, we thought it would be challenging to go back and revisit an earlier work, to approach it through the distance of time, to open it up again and even to make changes and update it,” wrote the duo of their decision to bring Wrapped back now.
“The Israeli dance audience grows every year, and to the existing circles are added young viewers. We believe that the revival of existing works gives the audience an opportunity to get to know our body of work and maybe to discover us all over again.”
Standing at the front of Studio A at the Suzanne Dellal Cebter, Pinto and Pollack considered changing a segment of the text from the work. Over the course of five minutes, as the company dancers rehearsed various sections in small groups, Pinto, Pollack and longtime collaborator Zvi Fishzon debated the effectiveness of the word “schnitzel” over “chicken.”
This attention to detail is the key element in Pinto and Pollack’s success. In all their works, from What Good Would the Moon Be? and Oyster to their operatic engagements, every single thread, every finger and toe, every note seems to be deliberately crafted.
There are no loose ends but rather an orchestration of thousands of minute bits that together create a rich world of images.
As the conversation progressed, a movement caught Pinto’s eye.
She moved over to a couple of dancers who were working out a duet. Pinto quickly jumped in, demonstrating a few ways in which the dancers could execute the exchange. A member of the original cast of Wrapped, Pinto knows the work inside and out.
The 1998 cast also included celebrated dancers and choreographers such as Noa Zuk, Barak Marshall and Niv Shenfeld.
Though Pinto has stayed clear of the stage for many years (with one jaunt back for the 25th anniversary gala of the Suzanne Dellal Center), her physical abilities remain intact. As the source of the company’s kinetic vocabulary, Pinto’s demonstrations can accomplish in seconds what cannot be transmitted in hours of talking.
“We’ve been very busy lately, so we have been rehearsing Wrapped alongside other things, performances and tours,” she said as she returned to the front of the room. “It’s very nice to get back to this work after so long.”
‘Wrapped’ will be performed at the Suzanne Dellal Center on June 25 at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. and on June 26 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit