Emanuel Gat Dance heads home for Suzanne Dellal’s 30th season
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Stage left, and returned

Emanuel Gat Dance heads home for Suzanne Dellal’s 30th season

The France-based troupe that was founded in Tel Aviv comes back for the dance center celebration

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

It won’t be choreographer Emanuel Gat’s first trip home to the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater when his troupe performs in October, but it always feels good to come back to where he got his start.

Gat’s eponymous troupe will perform on October 4 and 5 at the Tel Aviv center, in honor of the dance theater’s 30th season.

“It’s where I started, where I worked for 15 years, and it has a very different feeling for me personally,” said Gat, 50, who began dancing in his early twenties, founded his troupe at Suzanne Dellal and moved his troupe in 2007 to France. “It’s like going back to your parents’ house.”

The center has been marking its 30th year since the summer, with a special international season that began in July and runs through November, with performances and works of Israeli-born artists and choreographers returning to the Suzanne Dellal stage.

It’s somewhat of a bittersweet celebration, as Yair Vardi, director of Suzanne Dellal, announced in July that he is stepping down after 30 years of leadership. The 2010 Israel Prize winner, who himself returned from London to run the center in 1989, was a member of the second generation of the Batsheva Dance Company, the official dance troupe of Suzanne Dellal.

A piece by the Emanuel Gat dance troupe, which will perform at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater on October 3 and 4, 2019 (Courtesy Emanuel Gat)

For Gat, however, Vardi is still guiding him, particularly for this 30th year celebration. His troupe will perform “The Rite of Spring,” “Winter Passage” and “Works.”

“Yair felt it would be nice to mix all the new and old” works, said Gat, speaking from France. “Each one is very different from the other, so it gives good insight.”

The Emanuel Gat dance troupe will perform at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater on October 3 and 4, 2019 (Courtesy Emanuel Gat)

Gat left Israel for a mixture of reasons, and mostly because he “needed a radical change on all levels, personal and professional,” he said.

He’s now been in France for 12 years, working with a troupe of dancers of mixed nationalities.

Emanuel Gat, whose troupe was founded at Israel’s Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater in 2004 before he moved to France (Courtesy Emanuel Gat)

“I’m constantly working with a a very wide range of people, cultures, tendencies, habits and ways of thinking,” he said. “That defines the work to start with, just the fact that the group of people was once very defined and now it’s a much wider range of people.”

That said, Gat finds that his location both does and doesn’t influence his work.

“Every studio I step into, it doesn’t matter where in the world, it’s the same studio, it’s a continuation of the process that takes place,” said Gat.  “That being said, the environment where I live probably has some kind of effect on the work I do; it’s hard to define.”

Emanuel Gat Dance will perform at Suzanne Dellal on October 4 and 5, with tickets ranging in price from NIS 120 to NIS 320, and available at the Suzanne Dellal website.

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