Israel Festival 2012: Dance Preview

Dot 504/Photo: Petr Otta

Dance lovers can enjoy a colorful spring bouquet of diverse offerings at this year’s Israel Festival, with performances from Argentina, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel and the U.S.

One of the unique aspects of experiencing dance at the festival is seeing Israeli and international artists within the same framework, and the relationships and dialogue this proximity generates. Celebrating 20 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Czech Republic, the festival will feature a joint evening of double duets: the Czech Dot 504 Dance Company with “Mah Hunt” and “Six Years Later” by Israeli choreographer Roy Assaf.

Choreographed and performed by Dot 504 founder and artistic director Lenka Ottová and Pavel Mašek, “Mah Hunt” takes place in a post-catastrophic world where there are no more animals, except of course, humans. Man and woman, predator and prey, in the ever-changing delicate balance of this physical, funny and aesthetic duet.

“Six Years Later,” choreographed by Roy Assaf, is an intensely beautiful and intimate work.

Hadar Yunger Harel and Roy Assaf in Six Years Later/Photo: Ascaf

Dancers Roy Assaf and Hadar Yunger Harel eloquently convey the sensual tension and tenderness of a relationship. The duet premiered in the 2011 Curtain Up Festival where it was one of the highlights of the festival, it’s a pleasure to see it return to the stage.

Opening the fiesta will be Tangueros Del Sur, the “tango dancers of the south” from Argentina, on May 31, 2012 at 21:00 in the Rebecca Crown Auditorium of the Jerusalem Theatre.

Tangueros del Sur/Photo: Erin Baiano

Choreographer and Artistic Director Natalia Hills is a tango superstar, who learned the art as a child in Buenos Aires from her grandfather. As she dance he would urge her to “romper el piso” – break the floor – inspiring the title of the work to be performed at the festival. Following her tour with the hit show “Forever Tango” Hills become known internationally as a tango dancer and choreographer.

The intimate relationship between movement and music is at the heart of “Romper el Piso,” with musicians performing onstage alongside the dancers. Tangueros Del Sur will have four performances at the festival, May 31 – June 3, 2012.

Mirror & Music/Photo: Bengt Wanselius

The KARAS Dance Company from Japan will perform Mirror & Music, choreographed by founder and artistic director Saburo Teshigawara. With a background in the plastic arts and classical ballet, Teshigawara designs the scenography, lighting and costumes for all his performances. In this work, he also edited the soundtrack together with Izumi Nakano. Mirror & Music explores the relationship of the body to music, light and reflection, and features a solo by Teshigawara. Mirror and Music will be performed on June 7, 8 & 9 in Sherover Hall at the Jerusalem Theatre.

The ultimate flower in this bouquet is a one-night only performance of Botanica by MOMIX on June 10, 2012.

MOMIX/Photo: Max Pucciariello

Artistic Director Moses Pendleton, a founding member of the Pilobolus Dance Theater, formed MOMIX in 1980. The company is known for their visual and physical creativity in creating mesmerizing illusions onstage. Botanica soars through the green world of nature with wonderful flights of fancy.

Times, dates, venues and tickets are all available on the Israel Festival website.


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