<< -- 2 -- Malcolm Miller JOURNEY TO A LEGEND: ISRAEL DANCE PREMIÈRE
While the narrative related to a fairy tale about a 'journey to a legend', an exploration of the self, what was more compelling was the dramatic rhythm of the spectacular displays of movement and dance and the mercurial switches of mood attained merely through gesture and dynamic. Through seventy minutes of movement and dance, fresh, clever and beautifully realised, each scene merged into the next with exciting switches of musical character. At the start a male dancer encircles an orange-yellow clad female dancer, wrapping her waist with a black ribbon, over Philip Glass-like broken chord patterns in chromatically descending sequences. The orange yellow soloist's solo dance is suddenly taken up by an ensemble, using the mats as dresses. A girl with a bird -- the heroine perhaps -- shadows the action, as if dreaming of an imaginary world. While the main costumes were a telling black with white lines, some of Ma'or Tzabar's designs added spice and wit, an orange 'mane' to one of the male dancers, and the black 18th century dress with parapluie for a female dancer who leaves her costume to dance a funky solo belly dance like sequence.
A scene from 'Upon reaching the sun', danced by the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Photo © 2005 Gadi Dagon
Rami Be'er is interested in the constant flux of tension and relaxation in body movement, mechanical and jerky gestures, which contrast with lovingly smooth lyrical motion. The dances are exotic, taut, unusual and unpredictable but entirely controlled and elegant, sleek, streamlined. At one point the ensemble unfold their poles as a mat creating a chessboard pattern, then dance on the squares. Later the mats become vertical mirror cubicles, which open in turn to show individual dancers in the midst of a strident dance. Especially involving were the couple duets curving in sensuous shapes, lifting, circling in a small space. Other dances swept across the whole stage, in delightful patterns; still other dances featured running on the spot and sweeping dropping bodies in and out of side walls created out of the mats, all in expressive gestures that interpreted the music with astonishing power. Even the curtain calls were riveting, a reprise danced with flowers for all the cast and a bouquet for the choreographer Rami Be'er, all to the enthusiastic reception of the sizeable audience. It is a show one really needs to see to experience, to fully savour the intensity and humanity of its expression. One hopes that the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company may soon tour their new show to Europe, and the UK in particular, for the benefit of lovers of modern dance and the arts in general.
A scene from 'Upon reaching the sun'. Photo © 2005 Gadi Dagon