Germany’s Dortmund dancers in Israel after 2-year delay

Germany’s Ballett Dortmund will finally perform in Israel June 8 through June 14, in a series of performances in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa that were meant to take place two years ago.

The troupe, considered one of the world’s cutting-edge ballet companies, will present William Forsythe’s “The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude,” in homage to New York City Ballet co-founder George Balanchine; choreographer Edward Clug’s interpretation of “The Rite of Spring”; and “Cacti” by Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman, a live symphony of movements, sounds, strings and cacti.

“We know that Israel is very new age-y so we wanted to bring content and choreographers that haven’t been established in Israel,” said Tobias Ehinger, the ballet’s managing director.

The Swedish Ekman and Romanian Clug are known for their eclectic, modern choreographic styles, danced regularly by Dortmund as part of an effort to show a wide spectrum of dance languages.

Dortmund is known for portraying a combination of dance, including classic ballet, modern and acrobatic techniques, guided by Chinese choreographer Xin Peng Wang, Dortmund’s ballet director since 2003.

They’re looking forward to gauging Israeli audiences’ reactions, said Ehinger, seeing how they interact with the languages portrayed onstage.

And while they have closely followed the Israeli dance scene, through visiting troupes, choreographers and Israeli members of their own company, they’re looking forward to seeing the local dance scene up close, said Ehinger.

The ballet company, founded in 1904, is a publicly funded troupe of 28 dancers and musicians from 22 different nations.

“It’s an inspiration for our dancers to travel to Tel Aviv,” said Ehinger. “We aim for wider horizons, to gain a reputation for our work and show what we can do but also to take something for ourselves.”

“Wherever you go, you learn from the moment you step out of a bus or place,” he continued. “You meet people, you eat and you learn from every audience.”

In addition to doing some touring of their own around the country, Dortmund’s members will also be teaching eight workshops with different dance schools around Israel, including schools in Arab towns and others with only Orthodox Jewish students.

“We aim to show that dance doesn’t have any borders, that body language is universal,” said Ehinger. “Even if people are differently educated, if the art is good, you will touch somebody, somehow. What we’ve realized is that dance can really unite human beings.”

Ballett Dortmund is performing on June 8, 9, 10 and 11 at Tel Aviv’s The Israeli Opera; on June 12 at the Jerusalem Theater; and on June 14 at the Haifa Auditorium.


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