Idan Avisar, CEO of Keama Dance Company, covering 20 years of KAMEA….

Get to know Kamea better - read the congratulating speech for our 20th anniversary by CEO Idan Avisar

First, many thanks to the creators of tonight’s premiere of “Wild Awake”: Shai Yehudai for the amazing lighting design, Avi Belleli for the magnificent music, and Aviad Herman for the stunning costumes and set.

Good evening esteemed guests, Our partners from the Ministry of Culture, the municipality of Beer Sheva, representatives of our supportive foundations,  former dancers, and former employees.
Thank you all for coming tonight to honor the 20th anniversary of Kamea Dance Company. This is a double celebration as tonight we launched the premiere of “Wild
Awake” by Tamir Ginz, our artistic director and choreographer.

It is impossible to talk about the Kamea Dance Company without mentioning the Bat Dor School in Beer Sheva. The dance scene in Beer Sheva began about 48 years ago with the establishment of the Bat Dor School by Aliza Wolf. In 1997, Ms. Daniella Schapira took charge and took the NPO into new peaks, broadened its operations and financial stability for the future. Daniella dreamed of a dance company where graduates could dance. Her inspiration found a partner in Tamir Ginz and brought them together to work and dreamed of
creating a unique, professional dance company that would live, work and breath Beer Sheva.

Kamea was founded in 2002 by Daniela Shapira and Tamir Ginz, at the Bat Dor dance center in Beer Sheva. The school trained the initial core of the company’s dancers and to this day serves as a warm and welcoming home for the future generation of Kamea’s dancers, currently
managed by Or Abuhav, himself a graduate of the school. Kamea was born with the encouragement of the Culture Administration when Nili Cohen served as the head of the dance department and Mr. Micha Yinon was the head of the Culture Administration.
At their suggestion, the company was initially referred to as KAMEA- Contemporary Dance Group in The Negev, Nevertheless, the group gradually earned enthusiastic reviews and enthusiastic audiences filled the theatres.
Kamea grew and established itself as a dance company that is regularly supported by the state. About three years later, the company’s name was changed to “Kamea Dance Company” due to its success and the meaning in Hebrew got to shine: Kamea is an amulet, an emblem of good luck.

The first performance, in May 2003, was particularly memorable for Tamir Ginz’s creation of “Secret Garden” which dealt with children on the autistic spectrum. The great recognition for the work and the critics as a “masterpiece” paved the way for the company’s establishment.

In 2005, the production titled “limelight” was the first major event to feature Kamea’s full production in high scale, The exposure was tremendous, and Kamea was invited to perform in the best theaters in the country. In this work, the values of the company were established: a dramatic language that refined challenging technique, virtuosic performance, a narrative that embodied emotional adventure and an elegant and meticulous production. These values are still maintained today, as seen on stage just now (By the way, in both premiers, Ginz himself dances the lead role).

In 2007, upon an invitation to the Kypria Festival in Cyprus, Ginz created ” Carmina Burana” set to music by Carl Orff. This work was commissioned for tours worldwide, including events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and launched our international success including tours in Europe, South America, and other regions, while gaining momentum and a loyal international audience following the company.

In 2014, Ms. Daniella Schapira retired and Ginz was appointed as a sole artistic director and Merav Zimand became the CEO of the association.
That same year, Ginz presented “Bamidbar Devarim”, introducing a new dance language inspired by our unique location in the Middle East, the physical and
demographic landscape of the local environment, the desert! This piece is considered an iconic milestone in the development of the unique dance
language of Kamea dance company and was followed by a great collaboration with the musician and composer Avi Belleli, which collaborated with us for tonight’s premiere.

Since 2015, Kamea has been raising the bar with an excellent international repertoire, showcasing works by the greatest choreographers in the world, positioning Kamea at the forefront of the world’s most prestigious dance companies. Among the works presented, were pieces by the great choreographer Nacho Duato, Marco Goecke – who has given exclusivity I Israel for the company as well as Johan Inger, Itzik Galili, and more. We are proud and glad that additional productions from foreign companies and choreographers from all over the world are expected to
corporate with us too. Andonis Foniadaikis will join our rooster next season.

In 2019, Marav Zimand asked to retire from the CEO position, and I (Idan Avisar) was honored to replace her.

Another channel in the company’s activity is Kamea-Hub, which encourages new and veteran Israeli artists, including alumni and current dancers.

In the current season, Kamea-Hub introduced the emerging choreographers Dana Marcus and Adi Salant and brought their talent to our followers. Kamea acts as an ambassador of Beer Sheva in numerous performances nationally and abroad, we run “Kamea in the Community” project for enriching youngsters for over a decade. The project offers extracurricular programs for all dance students in Beer Sheva and the Negev.

As part of the social vision of the company, our staff and our dancers reside in Beer Sheva and we are all a living component of the cultural scene of the city.
We never stop developing and innovating Kamea, and in the past two years we have opened a dance community “Mid-Bar” to allow grownups to share our love for dance in open evening classes and events.

Currently our new studio theatre “Kamea Hall” is in its final stages of construction and will soon be used by Kamea and other dance artists for showcasing their work.

We are proud that this year alone, we are already invited to 130 performances in Israel and internationally and Kamea is growing to facilitate the demands.

But none of this would have been accomplished without our dear partners!

SO, Thank you all.

Thank you to Kamea dancers.
Thank you to Kamea’s former dancers that were a part of us.
Big thank you to our Kamea staff that are always supportive backstage.

Thank you, Tomer Nobel, our physiotherapist with whom we established the for dancers’ health suit.
Thank you Karnit Basson, head of public relations.
Thank you Narkis Segev, our graphic designer.
Thank you to the association members and the chairmen of the board Mazal Boublil.
I would also like to thank to our previous chairmen of the board ,our dear Mayor Mr.
Ruvik Danilovich and Prof. Adi Wolfson.
Thank you to the Goodman foundation, who supported us from day one, the CEP Orli, and their representative Elizabeth Homans.
Thank you to The Bracha foundation and Dr. Yariv Mishal the CEO for your support of our vision.
Thank you to the Beer Sheva municipality, headed by Ruvik Danilovich and the head of culture, Yair Nagid.
Thank you to the ministry of culture headed by Mis. Galit Wahaba Sahsu.

A final huge thank you to a very special man that devoted his whole life to Kamea,
An artist that his way as a creator is brave, touching, and authentic.
His way, his inspiration become the language of Kamea…
Thanks to his hard work on the stage and behind, his professionalism, his vision makes our company reach new heights! All of us here today thank Mr. Tamir Ginz!

Good evening- Many happy returns K A M E A !

20 years of Kamea Dance Company – Herzelia March 1st 2023