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Roger Durbin, Knight Arts  |  November 03, 2014

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company coming to Playhouse Square for DANCECLEVELAND

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, 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; Tickets are $25.


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