The pool’s all dry but the dancers dive right in
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Fluidity in motion

The pool’s all dry but the dancers dive right in

Three days of premieres are taking place in the historic Jerusalem YMCA pool and other abandoned spaces

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

The tiled pool of the Jerusalem YMCA is an ode to the past, a pale blue cavity with geometric fish tiled in blues and reds swimming around the walls of the cool underground space.

It’s been emptied of its chlorinated waters, having been supplanted in 2017 by a new YMCA sports center that includes a new, half-Olympic pool tiled in aquamarine blue, but it’s still being used in alternative ways, this month by a troupe of Israeli, Palestinian and American dancers.

Seven premieres of new, contemporary works make up “Body — Dance — Place,” a program created by choreographer Neta Pulvermacher from Jerusalem’s Academy of Dance and Music Faculty of Dance, who put together this symposium of movement.

The dances were created by seven choreographers, Maya Yogel, Sharon Sagi, Maya Briner, Maayan Gur, Sharon Levski, Sahar Damoni and American performance artist Ann Liv Young, who were invited to create original works inspired by the city of Jerusalem and its communities.

Rehearsal continue for ‘Body — Dance — Place’, one of the dance works premiering during the last week of May 2019 in Jerusalem’s YMCA (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

They aimed to describe the Jerusalem of old and new, faith and heresy, evil and compassion, holiness and impurity. Their dances are being performed by a mixed group of dancers, mostly Israelis, as well as one Palestinian and one American dancer.

The location is also significant, and includes several unused, historic spaces of the Jerusalem YMCA, where the different populations of Jerusalem have mixed on a regular basis for more than 80 years.

The performances are being held in the historic pool, upstairs in the now-unused gym, and in the locker rooms of the Y, all built in 1933 and used until the new space was opened two years ago.

Tickets are NIS 20 for each of the performances, being held on Monday, May 27, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Tuesday, May 28, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Wednesday, May 29, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The project is supported by the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, the Jerusalem Municipality, and several other local organizations, and tickets are available online.

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