Galili & Ginz: Body Flows, Body Blows

Review in "Haaretz" by Ruth Eshel

Kamea Dance Company’s two pieces couldn’t be more different, but the dancers are splendid in both Kamea Dance Company is presenting an excellent evening of dance called “Galili & Ginz” featuring two very different works. The company looks wonderful in both. Tamir Ginz was recently appointed the company’s artistic director. Previously he was co-artistic director together with Daniella Schapira, who has since left the company. His decision to invite Itzik Galili to present his work is to be commended. Galili recently returned to Israel after two decades in
Holland, where he became known as one of Europe’s leading choreographers. He funded and ran Galili Dance in Groningen from 1997 to 2008, and was one of the founders of the Dansgroep Amsterdam.

Galili can certainly be a major asset to dance in Israel. We saw his work two years ago with the Israel Ballett, in which he challenged the dancers and expanded the language of movement while testing the body’s limits. This time, with the Kamea Dance Company, the dance is entirely devoted to the flow of the body and lovingly breathes with it.

Galili’s wonderful piece, “Things I Told Nobody” opens with a strong praise to the body, first to that of the male dancer who performs it, Eldar Algerbly, whose bare torso shows the beauty of the flow of movement, with an emphasis on three-dimensionality. The piece concludes with a female solo danced by Lena Fraifeld, a lovely and delicate sketching of the female body as it moves along a strip of light. Bracketed by these solosis a medley of dances that range from charming duets (like the one danced by Peter Starr and Rachel Perica) to group work with lucid composition.

Galili presents a lexicon of movement brimming with fresh ideas that arise naturally, without being forced, and at the same time induce a pleasant sense of surprise. A strong sense of musicality also comes through. The dance conveys a feeling of gentle humor about relations between the sexes, which is reinforced by the flattering and surprising costumes – the female dancers in black tutus with white flowers peeking out from underneath, and the male dancers in very short pants, with flowers peeking out from the top. The dancers look simply splendid; their movements have a very high level of finish, and it’s not much of a stretch to say it makes one think of some of the leading companies in Europe.

Ginz’s work, “Red Sky”, was inspired by the place in which we live. This is not his first piece connected to the modern realities of Israeli life, “Epikouros” (1997) dealt with secular-religious relations, “Platform I” (1997) was a local Romeo and Juliet-style tale of the tensions between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, and “Srul” (2010) was about Israeli melancholy in the wake of war and the price we pay to live here. The present work focuses on the pain of people who live under perpetual threat. Here there is no paean to the body that flows with poetry. The body in
this work is hurting, battered, attacked by tremors. This is dance with a dramatic movement lexicon of hands thrust forward, fingers grasping for something to cling onto. Most of the segments are group dances, of people subjected to duress together, who need “togetherness” yet are still individualists. Here Ginz shows off his impressive ability to create complex, multi-voiced compositions of exhilarating movement – like a never-ending whirlpool. Unlike the delicate, almost porcelain-like quality of Galili’s work, in this piece the physicality of the dance pulls downward. This is
flesh-and-blood physicality, of strength versus strength. It’s a piece filled with virtuoso riffs that serve the idea and also display the great abilities of the dancers.