Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tel Aviv Journal: The Real Opening Night

Ben Gurion Airport
Tel Aviv
May 15, 2012

Waiting for the call for UA85 to Newark, with a precious few hours of sleep, its almost possible to take in what the last few days have offered.

A dance company less than a year old doesn't get the chance to dance Paul Taylor, Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar in front of a sold-out 800+ seat theater for its opening night in Israel. On top of that, it never gets the chance to dance in that same theater for four nights consecutively, all sold-out. In all of CityDance's life we had only one four-night engagement ever, at DC's Dance Place, capacity 160. And we couldn't fill it. 

Killer Pig by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar
Here, Company E took a step we could never manage at CityDance, with work which is simply a dream, and the Company took home on the bus to the hotel the love of an entire auditorium. Amazing. 

As always, it seems, the craziest challenge was in the program order. Call it the curse of a repertory Company-- what piece goes next to what other, and where does intermission lie. We were still "talking" about it 90 minutes before curtain. 

But we got it right.

Not in too many places could you open with a work like "Last Look." At home we never could, but here, the audience comes in ready and they absorb the full impact of it right from the start. And to see if come alive with this cast was rewarding in indescribable ways. Milan, taking the final solo, is finding the soul of it, and you can feel it in the audience as he does it that they are moving with him. And it will only get better. 

For our presenter, the Bimot Agency, to take a chance on a complete unknown, and to give it nine concerts in six cities, and to have those houses full, is really simply a dream. 

I head home for two days for an engagement at the Department of State's training institute, the Foreign Service Institute, and Don Quixote programming meetings, and then head almost immediately back to Minsk. The Company stays in Israel, dancing and absorbing an amazing experience. 

Doesn't get better than this. 

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