The Uniqueness of Israel
World Class Modern Dance in Israel
If you are a fan of modern dance then you probably already know that Israel is hope to many highly respected modern dance troupes. If you have never seen modern dance, then your gap year in Israel provides the perfect opportunity to do so. The various companies utilise innovative choreography to explore ideas and stories through art.
The most famous Israeli dance company is probably the Batsheva Dance Company. It was established in the 1960s at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv and it now known around the world for its unique style, interesting performances, and intense schedule of over 250 performances a year! Choreographer Ohad Naharin established the troupe’s style, a system of fluid movement called Gaga, and it has since received international acclaim. The Batsheva Dance Company is also well known for its work developing young talent and helping to nurture the next generation of Israeli dancers.
A newer but also highly respected company is the Vertigo Dance Company, established in 1992 by Noa Wertheim and Adi Shaal. Based in Jerusalem and the Vertigo Eco Art Villa on Kibbutz Netiv Halamed, the company gives young dancers the chance to connect with nature through their dance. Over the years, the Vertigo Dance Company has won multiple awards and they are widely regarded as excellent ambassadors of Israeli culture.
In the Galil there is a village called Ga’aton that is home to the widely acclaimed Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, which is made up on 18 highly talented individuals. The troupe was established back in 1970 and it is currently lead by director and choreographer Rami Be’er. He is in charge of two companies of dancers and nearly all aspects of the troupes’ shows, such as costumes and lighting. He also arranges for secondary school and university students to study abroad and in Israel.
Since the early 1990s, the Avshalom Pollak Dance Theatre has been working to bridge the gap between dance and other areas of the entertainment world. The theatre has been behind productions in collaboration with leading opera houses and musical theatre companies from around the world. Avshalom Pollak and Inbal Pinto originally established the theatre; while Pinto has since left the company, Pollak continues to work and collaborate with artists, museums, educational institutions, and more from across the globe.
A newer troupe is the Fresco Dance Company, which was established in 2002 and took up residence in the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. It is led by Yoram Karmi and they use the vast space available to them to explore thoroughly modern issues, such as gender identity, as well as more traditional pieces, such as children’s stories.
These are just a few examples of the many very successful Israeli modern dance troupes. Others include the Orly Portal Dance Company, which seeks to build bridges with Arab forms of dance, and the Kamea Dance Company, which is a highly professional outfit. There are shows taking place throughout the year across Israel and while on your gap year, it is certainly worth taking the opportunity to see a few of them.