Sderot Adama Dance Company

Sderot Adama Dance Company

Artistic Directors: Liat Dror & Nir Ben-Gal

Liat Dror and Nir Ben Gal are the co-founders and directors of “Sderot ADAMA” Dance Center, the creative choreographers and managers of “ADAMA Dance Company”, also run the bachelor’s degree in fine arts (BFA) course entitled “Choreography and Movement for Screen and Stage” at Sapir Academic College’s School of Audio and Visual Arts.

Liat and Nir embarked on their common journey at the KCDC (Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company) workshop in Kibbutz Ga’aton; they danced in the Jerusalem Dance Ensemble and studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Their first original piece, “Two-Room Apartment”, was a breakthrough in the world of dance. They expressed a sincere, unique message using contemporary tools alongside strong local influences. They soon became renowned, both in Israel and worldwide. After winning first place at the international “Biennale” choreography competition in Paris, they were invited to countless international festivals and events.

A number of very positive reviews in leading international dance magazines paved their way to becoming ambassadors for Israeli contemporary dance. Their success opened doors in Europe and North America for many Israeli dance companies and heralded a new era in the artistic activity of contemporary dance companies in Israel.

“Two-Room Apartment” and consequent pieces were a turning point for a novel dance style that was created and established in Israel: a combination of movement, theater and contemporary dance that produces a unique Israeli blend. They brought the relationship between themselves and their surroundings to the stage. Their work influenced other dance couples and choreographers in the nineties. In the years that followed, “Two-Room Apartment” and their next piece, “Donkeys”, among other creations, became an inspiration to a new generation of independent creators for whom Liat and Nir were their role models.

 

After airing “two-bedroom apartment” they created two other shows in a duet composition: donkeys (1988), the third dance (1990) in 1991 they created Rikud for the London Contemporary Dance Theater. Filmmaker Eytan Fox created the documentary “Donkeys” about the work of them both.
When they achieved the fullest of their artistic path as a pair of creative dancers, they began to create for the dance group they directed, and during the 1990s they produced:
In the Whirlwind of Desire (1991), Figs (1993), Inta Omri (1994), Sit and Get Up My Love (1996) Investigation (1996) The Dance of Nothing (1999) collaborating with Palestinian musicians.
The show, which was performed in a large tent set up in the Suzanne Dalal Plaza, was successfully performed all over the world and in all the major dance festivals in Europe.
It was a kind of life ritual of a tribe living in tent in the desert while baking cookies for guests. Dror and Ben-Gal were a refreshing news for Israeli dance.
Over the years, they also began teaching and hosted movement and observation workshops, all while managing the dance group and working as choreographers.

Realizing that their success was not enough to allow them artistic freedom and that it was not feasible to develop their art in Tel Aviv at that time, they decided to open a new chapter in their artistic career by relocating to Mitzpe Ramon, a remote town in the Negev mountains. In 2000, they founded a new dance school called “ADAMA Dance Center”. After ten years of success in Israel and abroad, they felt the time was ripe to invest their time, energy, and talent in a different style of dance. In the heart of the Negev desert, they turned their artistic work into an everyday lifestyle. They believed that the art of dance cannot be isolated or separated from life and that they had to find ways to connect it to the wider community and to dance lovers; that real creation has to be disconnected from the competitive and hectic “rat-race”. The heart of the desert with its endless space, sun, and serenity was deemed the right place for renewal and for the desired connection and perfect balance between dance and healing.

In an old ceramics factory, they built a studio, a residence and a visitors’ center and founded their dance therapy school, a dance company, and a variety of workshops for dance, movement, reflection and contemplation. Over the years, they have brought thousands of professional dancers, dance students and dance enthusiasts from all over the country to this remote desert location for exciting festivals and a wide range of dance activities. 

At the beginning of 2016, Liat and Nir relocated the hub of their creative activities to the town of Sderot, in the western Negev, near the Palestinian Gaza Strip, and founded their newest dance center – Sderot ADAMA.

 

The Company

Sderot Adama dance company, under artistic directors Liat Dror & Nir Ben Gal, is creating, working and performing in the southern town of Sderot, near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

The company is currently launching its newest creation:

“All’arrabbiata – a silent heart in a noisy world”

All’arrabbiata means ‘angry salsa’ in Italian. “… Hot & spicy tomato with tangy onion salsa… The spiciness doesn’t dominate the overall flavor, but certainly makes itself felt…”

And so does the dance.

Each one of us is many things. Not always do we succeed in containing or connecting all the parts to engender a clear sense that all of them together form a whole. In this creation, we appeal to the heart, as a connective symbol which pours the life-energy into and out of it, allowing the energy first to become dirty and then clean, full and then empty. The connection between abstract movement and practical movement is created on top of the table in the kitchen, at the heart of our physical home, through which we become connected, dismantled, disappointed, believing, separated and hopeful.

Artistic directors: Liat Dror & Nir Ben-Gal

Choreography: Liat Dror

Music: Klangnomad – I am what I am  \ nu – man o to

Producing & Marketing: Eytan Pe’er

Photos: Amalya Ben-Gal

The roots of pain
Choreography: Liat Dror
Dancers: Gilad Goral, Dikla Rizevski, Ariel Holin, Tal raviv
Music: Marjan Vahdat

What is the secret of “comfort food”?
What in it allows us to spread out, enable, maybe accept things as they are?
What is comfort to us?

“The roots of pain” is a choreography that is looking for the circular movement that is not holding on to anything.

Our pain is private, it closes us and closes on us, The circular movement, coming from the wrists, allows us to let go at any given moment.

There is no way for us to reach compassion without letting go and giving in.

We often hold onto something, we do not give up, we speed up until we reach the ending point.

Does it exist?

Does it really allow us to grow painlessly?

Is pain necessary?

To us as individuals, and to humanity as a whole?

On the line of the circle, both the movement that is pushing forward and the one that is letting go, can exist within us.

They can both be fully present, beside each other,

just like the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening.

That same movement that’s creating growth, its roots are deep and quiet, and its strength does not hurt me, or the others.

Cyclic movement.

Breathing movement.

Comforting movement.

 

The soundtrack is based on a song by the Iranian singer Marjan Vahdat

“Mine is a pure desire to soar in the heavens of your love. Mine is an intoxicated meandering like the vines of your love I am born like waterlilies at night, Yet I am rooted in the soil of your love. Excitement of anticipation, color of a cloud, taste of a teardrop, scent of the earth, feeling of an ocean that travels like a cloud in clean pure air.”

ahale’s arrangement of this piece, brings together the western beat with the maybe desertic infinity of the east, that allows to create the stability of the root facing the infinite movement of the branch in the wind. The same wind that might come as a hurricane, tearing and breaking, or as a cool breeze signaling the end of a heat wave.

The same wind between destruction and relief.

That is the human wind, the human movement.

“The roots of pain” was created in the company’s new studio which is located in Sderot, a city in the “Gaza envelope”.

There is no doubt that this area is wounded, hurt, sad, and craving for compassion –

not the obvious location for the growth of an art center.

The choice of the Persian song, like the choice to bring art to Sderot, is coming from a deep believe that we must approach the hurting spot in order to start a change. We must not see it as a threat, and not recoil, but to accept the tear that’s dropping from the eye and into the earth.

And to allow it to lead us to the forgiving movement, with all its strength.

Ariel Holin,
During my childhood in the kibbutz, I dealt a lot with music and sports – long distance running and swimming. At the age of 18 I discovered Capoeira and opened up a new world of movement, rhythm, music, acrobatics and acting.
After my discharge from the IDF, I applied to study mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
During those years I trained and trained Capoeira, trained in a gymnastics team, swam in the university swimming team, and taught math in high school and colleges.
Today I live in Gaza village, dancing with the group, practicing capoeira and teaching mathematics and Contact classes for parents and children.

Dikla Rizbeski,
I danced at the Jordan Valley Dance Studio. I studied for two years in Vertigo’s dance training course under the artistic direction of Baba Zack. I studied for two years in a dance training course under the artistic direction of Naomi Perlov and Ophir Dagan.
I worked in London with choreographer Sarah Chippertry. I worked with the artist Sigal Amroza. I joined Adama in January 2017.

Gilad Goral,
This is my second season dancing with Adama. Three years exprience in Yoram Carmi’s Fresco Dance Company and before that I studied in a dance training course under the artistic direction of Naomi Perlov and Ophir Dagan. I went to live in Sderot, along with my main work in the group, I participated in theater and dance projects by Ofir Nahari, Arie Eldar, Roni Rotem, Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Leor. For four years I have been engaged in artistic collaboration with the artist Eitan Dor Shav, and together we are studying a combination of dance and painting.

Tal Raviv,
I grew up in the community of Kalil in the north. I graduated from the dance mabor and the excellence dance group at Kibbutz Gaaton studio. I served in the “Culture Movement” and enlisted in the Nahal Brigade, where I instructed various dance groups of youth in the periphery, and I danced at the Vertigo workshop for dancers and in the workshop of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak. I worked with various choreographers, including Michael Miller, Donald Byrd (The Israeli Opera) and Tamar Lerner.

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