The Israeli dance scene has made impressive contributions to Israeli culture for decades now. For nearly thirty years, Israel’s most preeminent contemporary choreographer and Gaga guru, Ohad Naharin, has transformed Neve Tzedek’s Suzanne Dellal Center into a dancing dreamland, while kibbutzim companies and Jerusalem’s Vertigo continue to surprise their audiences. From modern performances on the periphery to traditional dancing in Jaffa, these five dance companies go above and beyond the Israeli art form, paving their way towards international fame. Get your culture junky fix this month.
Five must-see Israeli dance companies
Batsheva Dance Company has been critically acclaimed as one of the foremost contemporary dance ensembles in the world. The company, together with the Batsheva Young Ensemble, hosts a team of 34 dancers, pulled from Israel and abroad. It is choreographed by Ohad Naharin, who has been hailed as one of the world’s preeminent contemporary choreographers. Batsheva uses the innovative movement language, Gaga, a creation of Naharin, which has revolutionized the company’s training. Since its inception Batsheva Dance Company has boasted a world-class reputation, and although its style and structure has changed drastically over the years, it never disappoints.
One of the leading dance companies in israel is Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Artistic Director Rami Be’er’s exclusive and distinct choreographic character has become the company’s trademark in Israel and abroad. Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company contains a cast of physically eclectic dancers, who have both technical skills and strength along with dynamic sensibilities. The company performs regularly at some of the most respected festivals and theatres worldwide. Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company calls its home at the International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton, a location as beautiful as the performances crafted there.
Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al, partners in life and in dance, founded the Vertigo Dance Company in 1992, named after their first professional collaboration. The performance was built upon the concept of spinning out of control, not just in the air, but in relationships. This is how the two craft the performances for Vertigo Dance Company- by artistically commenting on relatable experiences. Vertigo offers a physical meeting place for artists and the audience. They aim to take the viewer on a journey to new or unexpected, exciting and challenging territories. Vertigo Dance Company strives to bring people closer together and touch them through the language of dance and the body.
Together Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak have been involved in the creation, direction, choreography and design of unique and award winning performances for their company. Acclaimed abroad, as well as within Israel, the company consists of twelve dancer/actors who share a collective goal to connect artistic disciplines. The choreography uses light, sound, color, space and the human body to tell stories. Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company aims to stage productions birthed from memories, longings, ideas and imagination to create a unique experience for the viewer.
Yasmeen Godder was born in Jerusalem and grew up in New York City, where she studied dance at some of the top programs in New York. To date she has created twelve evening-length works, and has been commissioned by some of the top dance companies in Israel and abroad. Yasmeen Godder’s choreography has won her numerous awards, and two books have been written about her work. In 2007, Godder opened a studio in Jaffa, which has become home to her projects, including open classes and workshops, community exchanges, performances, and production support. She performs both solo shows and with collaborators.