Tel Aviv Dance 2009: Last Touch First

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Tel Aviv Dance will get off to an intriguing start with “Last Touch First” choreographed by Jiří Kylián, and Michael Schumacher at the Suzanne Dellal Centre, October 16 and 17th. Its slow movements and flowing fabrics evoking another distant age, the work focuses on three couples, and is performed by former dancers of the Netherlands Dance Theater (NDT).
The Czech born Kylián began dancing at the age of 9 at the School of the National Ballet in Prague. Artistic Director of the NDT from 1975 – 1999, and house choreographer since, Kylián’s choreography has received international acclaim and has been performed throughout the world by over 80 companies, among them the Stuttgart Ballet, Paris Opera and Tokyo Ballet. Of the 92 dances he has created, 72 were for NDT. In 1978, with Carel Birnie he founded NDT II, for dancers between the ages of 17 – 22, to give young dancers an opportunity to develop their art. While many dance companies have a junior company, Kylián’s other initiative – NDT III, is unusual in the dance world.
Kylián founded NDT III for dancers over the age of 40, creating choreographies that were enhanced by the creativity and expressive qualities developed through years of dance experience. The small company was a critical success, (and appeared in Israel at the Israeli Opera) but difficult to sustain and was disbanded in 2006, although the intention is to explore ways to continue this artistic project.

 
The current work was set to former dancers of the NDT, and inspired by the writing of Anton Chekov. An intense emotional investigation of the six characters that inhabit the work, it is an evocative exploration of loneliness, madness and the desire for connection and the volcanic force of repressed emotion.
The project was initiated by Kylián with dancer Sabine Kupferberg and Michael Schumacher, based on Kylián’s “Last Touch” created in 2003. Schumacher, an American born dancer/choreographer who has created works for NDT, Ballet Frankfurt, Twyla Tharp and other companies, is known for his approach to improvisation. Schumacher’s choreographic work “The Moment” was created for NDT III in 2001.

Last Touch First
Performances: Friday October 16 at 14:00, Saturday October 17 at 21:00
Suzanne Dellal Centre, 5 Yehieli St. Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv
Tickets: 03-5105657, www.suzannedellal.org.il

Image credit: Robert Benshop

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