Shani Ben Hayim and Tankuri Kwaharda/Photo: Gadi Dagon

Shani Ben Hayim and Tankuri Kwaharda/Photo: Gadi Dagon

Contemporary dance from Japan will be featured at the Suzanne Dellal Centre’s Dance with Japan, taking place from September 7 – 13, 2014. The cultural conversation between Israel and Japan has been especially lively and enriching in the field of dance, with dancers and choreographers inspiring one another, learning from each other and performing  in the two countries. Dance with Japan reflects this long-standing relationship with performances by guest artists from Japan alongside works by Japanese dancers/choreographers living in Israel, and collaborations between Israeli and Japanese choreographers.

There will be two programs of dance from Japan:

Prizewinners of the Yokohama Dance Collection 2014 Shiori Tada and Huang Lei will perform their award-winning solos on Friday, September 12th at 17:00 and Saturday, September 13th at 20:00. Shiori Tada will perform Figure created with audio and visual artist Junichi Akagawa. Huang Lei will perform Lost Track, a work that engages with Japanese culture in an intriguing way, as calligraphy painted on the dancer’s body in the course of the dance.

A program of two works, Les Noces (The Wedding) and Samon, will be presented on Monday, September 8th and Tuesday, September 9th at 19:00 both evenings. Looking at life through the prism of a wedding, Les Noces is a duet performed to the 1955 recording of Igor Stravinsky’s work made by the Pokrovsky Ensemble, known for their performance of Russian folk music. Samon, by Norihito Ishii, is a dance in the Butoh style.

Something different: while most international programs feature guest performers from abroad, this program will also include two evenings of dance by choreographers and dancers (Israeli and Japanese) currently living and working in Israel. Four Sonnets will be program of short works on Sunday, September 7th at 19:00, and will feature works by: Shlomi Frige; Ella Rothschild and Mirai Moriyama; Tomo Sone; Tankuri Kwaharda and Shani Ben Hayim. Five Houses will open on with an outdoor performance (free and open to the public) by Mirai Moriyama, Tankuri Kwaharda and Sau Matsua, and a program of five short works by: Asami Ida; Yuko Imazaika, Ari Fastman and Hila Lizer Baja; Mami Shimazaki and Adam Kalderon and Roy Efrat; Rio Taknoshita and Sau Matsua; Kazuyo Shinahori and Oded Zadok.

A first, very quick, look at some of these works reveals a wide range of styles, technique and concepts. Some of the Japanese choreographers working in Israel may be familiar. Mami Shimazaki, formerly a dancer in the Bat Sheva Dance Company, has been working as an independent choreographer in Israel for many years. I’ve always felt that her choreography is deeply connected to music and visual imagery, her collaboration with songwriter Adam Kalderon and video artist Roy Efrat brings together these three disciplines. A short (2 min?) sequence performed at yesterday’s press meeting at Suzanne Dellal reveals a work that is energetic, colorful and really out there!

Mami Shimazaki and Adam Kalderon/Photo: Gadi Dagon

Mami Shimazaki and Adam Kalderon/Photo: Gadi Dagon

Ella Rothschild and Mirai Moriyamafirst met in Japan, and then continued their artistic dialogue in Israel, where Moriyama, a well known and extremely talented performer awarded an arts travel grant from his native Japan, has been spending the year with the Inbal Pinto Avshalom Pollak Dance Company performing in Dust and Wallflower. Rothschild is a very creative artist with a keen intelligence and wicked sense of humor, I’ve seen several short works she’s created and enjoyed them all. In this piece, Rotchschild and Moriyama have created a cultural dialogue in movement, text and song, taking as their starting point a text on Jesus and Judas Iscariot – sounds very promising!

Mirai Moriyama and Ella Rothschild/Photo: Gadi Dagon

Mirai Moriyama and Ella Rothschild/Photo: Gadi Dagon

Tankuri Kwaharda has been living and working in Israel for almost ten years, beginning in the Clipa Theatre and currently working as an independent artist. Kwaharda and Shani Ben Hayim met when they performed in Renaissance by Maya Levy and Hanan Anando Mars, and their work here unites the physical with the ephemeral. Salt was inspired by a film they saw of a journey in Tibet to a salt reservoir, they have delved deep into salt as a material in and outside the body, the journey in Tibet, the imagery, creatures (Yaks) and movement, and the rhythms. At first view, this work is vivid in its imagery and physicality, at once contemplative and forceful.

Tickets are 130 – 160 NIS and may be ordered online or call: 03-5105656.