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5 Outstanding Israeli Dance Groups To Know

5 Outstanding Israeli Dance Groups To Know
The sky is the limit at the Suzanne Dellal Cultural Center for Dance and Theatre, which is housed in one of the most stunning areas in Tel Aviv —Neve Tzedek. The Suzanne Dellal Centre is a leader of contemporary dance companies, both locally and globally. A touch of cultural diversity and an edgy nature make it easy to see why this is the home of the progressive modern dance scene. Read on to learn about the top five modern companies that dance their way onto Suzanne’s stage.
Suzanne Dellal Centre © Alex Jilitsky/Flickr

The Batsheva Dance Company

The Bat Sheva Dance Company, based in Tel Aviv, is one of the most engaging and revolutionary contemporary dance groups in the world. Their artistic director, Ohad Naharan, is known as one of the most talented contemporary choreographers around. Naharan created the style of Gaga when he began to work with Batsheva. Gaga is a movement technique not only practiced by the company, but also taught and embodied by dancers and non-dancers across Israel and several other countries.

Gaga is a daring dance method that fully embraces natural body language allowing for the sensations of freedom and bliss, as experienced both independently as well as in unison with other dancers. There is an element of direct awareness mixed with unconscious instincts in this contemporary style. Body language and imaginative descriptions are used to guide dancers into taking on improvisational movements that heighten all sensations.

In the modern era, dancers are getting more in touch with their own unique sensations while still embodying a traditional dance technique, and the Gaga style fully embraces this phenomenon. Audience members come out of Batsheva’s shows feeling fully awakened and thrilled from the highly interactive relation with the performers and the mutual release of energy and emotion that takes place in this therapeutic experience.

The Bat Sheva Dance Company: courtesy of Gadi Dagon

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company

Discovered at the International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company is another contemporary group on the forefront of dance culture, both locally and globally. The social activist goal of this village, a vision also held by the company, is to shed light on the evolution of movement and dance in Israel and to maintain a community that enables artists and dancers to thrive and share their creations. There is plenty of room to grow artistically in this kibbutz, with a strong emphasis on individual and collective drive to bring to life expressive manifestations through various social messages that exemplify union, communal support and collaboration.

The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company performances display the exceptional style of artistic director Rami Be’er, recognized and highly regarded in the international modern dance world. Be’er is extremely passionate about philosophical inquiries regarding the meaning behind human existence and humankind. This can be seen in the intricate and fully intentional symbols that the dancers personify. Be’er’s vision, alongside the social statement of the eco village contributes to the larger scale impacts and inspirations that the Contemporary Dance Company offers to a wide range of viewers.

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company Courtesy of Thomas Ammerpohl

Vertigo Dance Company

Based in Jerusalem, with an additional foundation in an Eco-Art Village on Kibbutz Netic HaLamed-Hey, Vertigo is another primary company with a ground-breaking dance model. The artistic directors, Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al, uphold social activist dreams that are implemented in their choreography and artistic representation. Their performances are far from conventional, as they are rooted in philosophical messages about human experience and relationships with one another as well as with nature. The projects that are implemented at the eco-village largely influence the evolving style of Vertigo as a dance troupe.

With a drive for environmental, social and educational evolution, the company seeks to promote outreach shows and workshops for Diverse and Disabled groups of people. Movement and dance are viewed as therapeutic tools that can foster and empower those in need. Due to these strong beliefs, there is a very touching element to the inherent emotionally moving performances of the Vertigo dance company, who take a stance, or rather a dance, for social movement on and off the stage. Their performances will make you want to get up from your seat and dance with full force, and also will stimulate your reflection of humanity and the infinite possibilities of human expression.

Vertigo Courtesy of Maayan Hotam

Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company

Founded by Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak, this dance company is based at the Suzanne Dellal Center itself and offers a wide range of artistic expression through contemporary performances of dancer-actors. The modern creativity presented by this company conveys the fusion of contemporary dance, art, mime, acrobatics, stage design, lighting, animation and ballet. The group’s uncanny experimental performance style is accentuated in shows such as Oyster , a circus-themed production that is a perfect example of their theatre-dance amalgam.

Separate confinements of reality and fantasy are often demolished, as the work of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company breaks these barriers of our mind’s constructs. They encourage a sense of oneness between our imagination and our reality, and this alternative angle implies that our black and white limitations could all be an illusion. The infusion of fun alternate reality performances and powerful symbolism of the human experience leads audience members to feel very mentally stimulated.

Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company Courtesy of Avshalom Pollak

Kamea Dance Company

Kamea Dance Company, based in Be’er Sheva, is another company that succeeds at bringing forth a new wave of dramatically spirited and colorful performances. Largely viewed by young audiences, this company continues to hold onto its youthful spirit by incorporating both classical and modern aesthetic approaches. Kamea is very involved in the educational spectrums of Israel, frequently holding workshops and projects in dance studios and schools. The work of the artistic director, Tamir Ginz , greatly depicts both the individual and collective experiences of Israeli citizens, drawing on many realistic experiences to which audience members can deeply relate.

These stirring performances continue to shape viewers insights: through the social messages, the dancers delve into breaking barriers of traditional mindsets and offer progressive ones that lend to freeing the conventional population from old limitations. Performers are not afraid to take the road less traveled, transforming the stage into a world of magic and free creative expression.

Kamea Dance Company Courtesy of Avshalom Levy