Moving with the audience

TLV Dance event reframed with Israeli troupes only

The 24th year of the summer dance festival will take place at the Suzanne Dellal Center, with 19 performances and open rehearsals

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

From '4 Fantasies and a Monkey' by Yossi Berg and Oded Graf at the 2024 TLV Dance, August 1-10, 2024 (Courtesy Vojtech Brtnicky)
From '4 Fantasies and a Monkey' by Yossi Berg and Oded Graf at the 2024 TLV Dance, August 1-10, 2024 (Courtesy Vojtech Brtnicky)

Choreographer and dancer Orly Portal began working on a new piece for the annual summer festival, TLV Dance, in late September.

After the Hamas attack of October 7, it took several weeks until Portal returned to the studio, to rethink her original piece incorporating the music of the late Egyptian diva Umm Kulthum.

“I had a hard time, but ultimately working on the piece saved us,” said Portal, who will perform “Al-Atlal,” part of her ongoing contemporary interpretations of ancient traditions.

Portal said it was painful at first to work with a song in Arabic, given the events of October 7, in spite of her deep love and appreciation for Umm Kulthum’s music.

“That music is holy for me, it lives in my body and yet it was very hard to hear it during the war,” she said.

Portal said she eventually realized it was her task to find the Hebrew connection to the Arabic music, and to turn it into one language, leading her to find peace between the two.

Portal, along with fellow choreographers and dancers, will perform 19 different shows, including seven premieres, for the annual TLV Dance taking place August 1-10 at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater in Neve Tzedek.

Due to the war, there are no visiting troupes this year, but rather an emphasis on local dancers and choreographers with new works and retrospectives, as well as a focus on connecting to audiences and allowing audience members to get closer to the dancers and creations, including, for the first time, access to open rehearsals.

The annual festival is in its 24th year, and this year more than ever, there’s no escaping the choreographed reflections on human nature and the construction of narratives and ideologies, said Suzanne Dellal CEO Anat Fischer Leventon during a live preview of the festival.

From Michal Samama’s work at the 2024 TLV Dance, August 1-10, 2024 (Courtesy Asya Skorik)

“We promote Israeli dance even on days like these and this year we are even more proud to give them a stage,” said Leventon. “Precisely during this period, the festival offers an important meeting space with shows that give expression to what we all feel, together with investment and support for local creation and a meaningful connection with the audience.”

There are works of disco and pieces set to the music of Simon and Garfunkel, Hillel Kogan‘s “THISISPAIN,” several works by Yossi Berg and Oded Graf, Lior Tavori’s “Crust,” and others.

There are also performances for the entire family, artist talks and studio shows.

For more information and tickets, go to the TLV Dance website.

Most Popular
read more: