Monday, November 3rd, 2014 12:00 PM
After a very successful performance at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, DANCECLEVELAND, a Knight Arts grantee, is going to be continuing in that stellar vein by presenting the internationally acclaimed Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC) in the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square.
One of Israel's most prominent dance troupes, KCDC is taking an equal spot in the international dance arena, as organizers have said, more › especially because of the group's sophisticated choreography and stunning dancers.
Interestingly, the company will perform an evening-length work – "If At All" – that was choreographed by artistic director of KCDC, Rami Be'er. As program information states it, this moving theatrical event explores an abstract and circular chain of events in diverse and ever-changing relationships.
One reviewer noted that "If At All" explores communal life, or kibbutz living, in several dimensions, taking on love, disappointment, the difficulty of living together and wanting space, and the like. Thus, as the critic noted, mood, costumes, music, movement (ranging from a lift of the head or turn of an arm to more robust and athletic fare) – these things all change over the course of the 65-minute work to get at shifting ideas.
The work is set to eclectic music – encompassing the styles of Volcano Choire, H. Gudnadottir, Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack, Murcof, Olafur Arnalds, M. Richter, J. Johansson, L. Einaudi and Ophir Leibovitch.
The troupe, as reported, is widely identified with the work of Be'er, whose unique choreographic style has become the company's trademark both in Israel and abroad. With its technically strong and physically eclectic cast of dancers and its dynamic sensibility, KCDC is said to characterize Israeli dance at its best. The company performs regularly in the most respected theaters and at leading festivals around the world.
The company's lineage reportedly is as old as Israel itself. It can be traced back to the Kibbutz Ga'aton, in the north of the country and near the Lebanese border where Yehudit Arnon, an Auschwitz survivor, moved in 1949 and established the Mateh Asher Dance Studio. She created the performing ensemble in 1970. Be'er, who was born at Kibbutz Ga'aton, joined KCDC as a dancer and choreographer in 1980 and took over the company's artistic direction in 1996. Today Kibbutz Ga'aton is the home of the thriving International Dance Village, where the company's dancers, who hail from around the globe, live and train together.
Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company will perform "If At All" as presented by DANCECLEVELAND on November 8-9, at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday, in the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Ave., Akron; 216-241-6000; www.dancecleveland.org. Tickets are $25.
Roger Durbin, Knight Arts
RELATED COMPANY: Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 12:00 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- There is no correct interpretation. There is no lens through which some will perceive more than others.
With Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, the 17-member troupe next in line on the DanceCleveland series, all viewpoints are valid. Not even the group's director has a lock on what his work is about.
"It's not about understanding, right or wrong," said Rami Be'er, longtime artistic head of Kibbutz and author of "If more › At All," the evening-length work it will present here next weekend.
Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9.
Where: Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square, Cleveland.
Tickets: $25-$55. Go to dancecleveland.org or call 216-241-6000.
"Each spectator can tell his own story about what he sees on stage. It's all eyes connected to himself, through the piece. I want to give people the freedom to make their own associations."
One thing "If At All" – a sliver of the company's vast repertoire – definitely isn't: culturally specific. One need not hail from north Israel, home to KCDC, a noted dance school and a secondary student company since 1973, to derive meaning from the piece.
No, the 65-minute work, to be performed without intermission, is more universal than that. There is no narrative, per se. What it concerns are simply the nature of existence and the dynamic relationship between the individual and society.
"Human beings, as they are, are my inspiration," Be'er explained. "All materials in life are my materials. They all come into my work."
No one would know better than Be'er if there were, in fact, a concrete narrative. That's because, unlike most choreographers, Be'er exercises control over nearly every aspect of his productions.
He doesn't just make dance, in other words. He conceives whole environments. For "If At All," in addition to the choreography, Be'er, a trained cellist, oversaw both the lighting and costume designs and drafted the soundtrack, a wide-ranging mix of indie rock and electronica.
"What I bring is a proposal," said the director of Kibbutz, last seen here in 1998. "I create a world and then invite the viewer to be part be part of a journey. I leave him with himself, with his own feelings and memories."
Hence the director's reluctance even to talk at length about his piece. Asked about his style of choreography and for a rough outline of what transpires during "If At All," Be'er retreated, not wishing to exert too much influence over the experience.
All Be'er would say is that his dance is physically demanding, especially over the span of an hour, and that it calls for the whole body, not just fancy footwork. Everything else, he said, will be clear in the moment.
"I don't like to describe my work," Be'er said. "I believe good art has to speak on its own from the stage. When the curtain goes up, something has to catch you."
The Plain Dealer, Zachary Lewis
RELATED COMPANY: Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
Friday, October 24th, 2014 12:00 PM
Cted as "a troupe that belongs to the world elite" at the Weimar Festival in Germany, DANCECleveland presents The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, who will be performing for two performances in the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare on Nov. 8 and 9.
Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC) is considered one of Israel's most vibrant dance companies. They're known for their innovation and sophisticated choreography as well as stunning dancers. Tickets start at more › $25 and can be purchased at the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office by calling (216) 241-6000 or by going online at www.dancecleveland.org.
Featured on the program will be the evening length work If At All that was choreographed by Artistic Director Rami Be'er. The core theme is relationship as explored through transcendental and revolving events set to music by Volcano Choire, H. Gudnadottir, Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack, Murcof, Olafur Arnalds, M. Richter, J. Johansson, L. Einaudi and Ophir Leibovitch.
The company is well recognized by its work - Be'er has performed over 50 of his works internationally. By combining a technically superb and physical cast of dancers to his avant guard choreography, it has raised KCDC to the pinnacle of Israeli contemporary dance earning them the privilege to perform at some of the most widely known and respected venues in the world.
Anna Kisselgoff (The New York Times) said, "Be'er favors a general modern-dance idiom that makes use of the entire body rather than isolated steps, and the company is more than well trained in this idiom."
Along with his work with KCDC, Be'er has choreographed works for such diverse groups as Gratz Opera Ballet (Austria), Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), Hungarian National Ballet, New Danish Dance Theatre (Denmark), Staatsballett Berlin (Germany), Croatian National Ballet Theatre, Reykjavik National Ballet (Iceland), Tanzcompagnie Oldenburg (Germany), Ballett Basel (Switzerland), Poznan Opera House Ballet (Poland), National Theatre Ballet Brno (Czech Republic) and more.
DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit, is one of a handful of presenters nationally that is dedicated solely to the presentation of modern and contemporary dance. The centerpiece of the organization's programming is its annual performance series. The performances are surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including artist-run master classes, residency programs, student matinees, pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions, designed both to break artistic boundaries and provide community access to the dance aesthetic and dance luminaries that DANCECleveland brings to Northeast Ohio.
axs.com, Mark Horning
RELATED COMPANY: Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
Friday, October 10th, 2014 12:00 PM
Member: Dance Critics Association
Dance Cleveland opened its 59th season in spectacular style with a performance of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at E. J. Thomas Hall, on the University of Akron Campus. The company, which was founded in 1996, has two official schools, one in Aspen, one in Santa Fe, and a year-round Mexican outreach program.
The huge audience, which filled the orchestra section of the auditorium, was enthralled by more › the eleven person company's creativity and discipline. They lived up to their advanced billing for adventurous dancing. The style has been credited with "epitomizing the contemporary-classic genre."
The program opened with "Over Glow," choreographed by Jorma Elo, and performed to music by Felix Mendelssohn and Ludwig van Beethoven. The composition was danced with precision, with three male clones and three females who could have been triplets in physical style and appearance. The dynamic music was perfectly paralleled in mood and temperament by Elo's dance designs.
Combining classical ballet moves with modern movements, the body shifts, freezes, lifts, running, slides, spins, and jumps were a master class in combining the two styles. The finely gym toned bodies of the dancers created enthralling visual and emotional pictures.
If "Over Glow" had been the sole offering on the program, the audience would have been satisfied, but it was only the appetizer.
"Return to a Strange Land," set to four emotional pieces by Czech composer Leoš Janá?ek, and choreographed by Ji?í Kylián, Czech contemporary dance choreographer, explored the limitations and capabilities of space, body parts, entrances, exits, and contrasts, with some humorous overtones. The distinctive movements, which incorporated dancers running and sliding across the floor, combined classical ballet and modern dance. With overtones of sadness and longing, the overarching feeling was that of hope.
"Square None" was choreographed by Norbert De La Cruz III, a young Filipino-American. Still in his twenties, the Julliard School graduate is noted for his creation of inventive and haunting characters. Accented by creative lighting, the dancers thrust their limbs in and out of the squares of lights, parts of their bodies often seeming to disappear. Constantly changing from intertwining patterns, to unison solo dancing, the performers seemed to be playing a game in which the musical notes set the pattern and tone for point and counter-point movements. The overall effect was an audience-pleasing experience.
Capsule judgement: Pam Young, executive director of Dance Cleveland has done it again. Young has the ability to find dance companies that entertain and delight audiences. Her selection of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet futher confirms her grasp of the national and international dance scene and makes sure that Cleveland area audiences experience the best.
Next presentation by Dance Cleveland is the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, presented through the sponsorship of the Cleveland Israel Arts Connection, a program of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, on Saturday, November 8 @ 8 PM and Sunday, November 9 @3 PM at the Ohio Theatre.
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 12:00 PM
DANCECleveland's 2014-15 season is slated to tap into the creative spirit from America's majestic West to a kibbutz in Israel to the Carnival spectacle of Brazi, bringing in five innovative dance companies from around the globe. The season opens in October w/ Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, a company hailed for its bold vision and accomplished dancers. See schedule:
October - Aspen Sante Fe Ballet
November - Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
January – Pilobolus more › [pictured]
March – Compagnie Kafig – Correria Agwa
April - Wendy Whelan – Restless Creature
May – Subscriber Perk! Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host
Victor Lucas, Cool Cleveland