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ecotopia dance productions: press clippings Dansgroep Amsterdam - For Heaven's Sake BIOGRAPHIES



The dramaturgy of stillness and storm, intimacy and brutality, the rhythm of cuts, with it an in itself exciting sound collage made up of electronic music and traditional Eastern instruments, sensitively played by five musicians from the Middle East - transformed the Panoptic of images, which were danced and played, into a real experience with an effect that lasted for longer than the day itself.
NordWest Zeitung June 24, 2004

Galili is probably the brightest choreographer of the Festival. Everything that concerns movement in his company is delightful. The enchanting dance to the sound of drums electrifies the audience. Virtuous duets go one right after another and leave no time to take a breath. But then propaganda posters make such a big contrast to the delicate musicality of the choreography that one becomes to feel uneasy./
Dmitry Abaulin, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, November 1, 2003

The “scream” of the choreographer is hard not to hear: first of all, a 20-year-old newspaper report describing Israelis’ attack on the Palestinian refugee camp is included into the performance. The report is read aloud by one of the dancers wearing protheses. Second, half of the show time the performers snatch chunks of pita out of each others’ mouths (read – “our Daily Bread”) and dance in protheses as well: some with legs immovable from groin to foot, others with metallic arm or wearing a medical corset with their neck fixed. In the first two solos and a duet this device has a powerful and quite esthetic effect. However, ten times repeated, it becomes a publicistic slogan with a clear trace of sado-masochistic speculation./

/…The final duet made up for all the burden of the invalids’ importunate dance and accusatory newspaper articles. Quiet, strict in composition and almost sacral, it is thought out as the way of the eternal Adam and Eve through the quaking bog of existence to the lost paradise. Both of them, not looking at each other, their bodies interlaced, slowly move in a ray of light from one side of the stage to the other. They carefully step on cardboard sheets that the man puts under their feet. One of them says in Russian “In days like this”, the other one – “Just stand there”. It could have been written in Dutch or in Hebrew and the effect would still be the same. This purposeful duet has so much tenderness and covert sensuality that Itzik Galili didn’t have to explain another of his thesises. No explanations needed to see that this passionate accuser of violence believes – love will save the world. Or dance, at least./
Tatiana Kuznetsova, Commersant, 2003

That is why the meal which Galili’s group sets before us is a no-no for those on a strict diet as regards movements. This is truly alive and kicking – in short, terrific!
Caviar by Sara Wiktorowicz is surrealistically wondrous and comical. This is what caviar should really be like: truly exotic in flavour, rich in motion, veiled in imagination, confident and zany. A true feast
Giora Manor, Israel Dance2003

An overwhelming evening with touching performances, concluding Itzik Galili’s visit as part of The DancEurope Festival.
The night ending with Galili Dance’s production is certainly worth cherishing fond memories of in Israel. It consisted of four choreographies and a piece that almost has a drama-side to it. Each part of it strikes a different sensitive note. Itzik Galili and his dance group are touchingly funny and heart-warming, while moreover manifesting an ability that reaches further than mere technique. What they showed the audience had exceptional integrity, which we should highly appreciate, particularly in these times of programme ratings.
It seems a long time ago that such chemistry between dancers was seen on an Israeli stage. Also in Belly of the Whale by Stephen Shropshire, the sense of magic is retained. In this poetic performance, the dialogue Shropshire creates is with language itself. Apart from the excellent technique, also in this case it is a question of a work that is both intelligent and enriching.
Chameleon is a choreography with never a dull moment. It shows a woman in all her weakness, magic and humanity, drawn with humour and an appropriate lyricism. The Second Monkey is a highly personal solo, performed by the talented dancer Jussi Nousiainen. It is not only an excellent choreography, but also a very good choice for a dancer who is prepared to go to extremes.
As befits such an exquisite night, Caviar is left to the last. It is both mad and funny, and is directed by Sara Wiktorowicz, one of the company’s female dancers.
Jehihiot Agronot 2003

Itzik Galili’s dance company offers a mosaic of brief, dignified and agreeable productions, with as an absolute gem the solo The Second Monkey (Itzik Galili), performed by Jussi Nousiainen. This is gorgeous dancing.
Fragile (Itzik Galili) is a beautiful and mysterious duet, carried out by Liat Waysbort and Ronald Wintjens. In Chameleon (Itzik Galili), images are born and pass away again, while the multiplying movement and precise performance render the dance humorous and surrealistic. Caviar (Sara Wiktorowicz) is a scene in which a director rehearses together with the performing dancers. As the rehearsal is chaotic, the scene on stage becomes a mad and amusing happening.
Ruth Eshel, HAARETZ 2003

The most exciting thing about this dance is that the performance and movements were made in collaboration with the dancers, who are not ‘mere performers’, but are an integral part of the production. With the dancers in their everyday clothes, Galili is able to create breathtaking as well as humoristic moments. What makes dance so beautiful is the suspense between the physically exerting climaxes and the moments of tranquil silence. The group dancing with the drummers in the background moves in such an original way that one would love to see a lot more in this vein.
Alex Jaron / Maariv 2003

‘The stage is Galili’s great strength. I have seen several of his productions, and what strikes me and is so typical is that none of them seem to have anything in common. Each one is set within a world of its own, which makes them very special. He has an extremely rich and personal idiom. Itzik excels at his ability to breathe life into inanimate objects. Today it may be seven pianos, tomorrow a floor with dozens of synthetic sheets that are moreover able to move. The art of breathing life into an object on stage is a special gift, which Galili possesses to a high degree. He vitalizes such inanimate objects. Anyway, for me, Nana’s sofa offers the true enjoyment of free dance, full of imagination. An absolute must as a stage piece. Magnificent.’

‘There is a lot of violence in the world, and also in this powerful dance one feels aggression abounding. Anything else would quite impossible. The movement spreads across the entire stage with a keen choreographic insight and a perfect command of the theatrical arts. His intensive years in The Netherlands have made Itzik into a versatile artist in the field of movement and all other dramatic aspects. The performance at the Tel Aviv opera house had the element of a rebellious son’s glorious home-coming.’
Giora Manor, Israel Dance 2003

Galili Dance mit "For Heaven's Sake" im Programm des Kulturamts
Was Galili nun, zu den orientalischen Klängen der Musiker und im magisch gedämpften Licht mit seinen Tänzern zwischen Zuwendung und Abstoßung an choreografischen Figuren entwickelt, ist von einer wunderbaren Langsamkeit, Weichheit und Spannkraft der Bewegungen. Aus der Kontaktimprovisation der Körper entstehen fließende Bilder einer aus den traumatischen Erfahrungen der Gewalt neu entstehenden Kommunikation. Unglaublich athletisch, ja akrobatisch setzen die Tänzer das um.
Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung, 9.12.2002

Am Zeitgeschehen: »Galili Dance« in Hannover
Die Schläge sind hart. Der scharfe Klang knallt durch die Dunkelheit. Die Verursacher kommen nur langsam ans Licht: Zwei Männer stehen auf der Bühne, holen mit beiden Armen weit aus und klatschen sich mit ihren Händen erst auf ihre Kleidung, später auf ihren nackten Körper ­ minutenlang, bis dieser ein Eigenleben zu führen scheint. Die Wucht trifft Herz, Bauch, Rücken, Beine ­ die Haut rötet sich. Aus der Geißelung entpuppt sich ein schauerlicher Rhythmus. es ist der Pulsschlag der Gewalt. Wer ist Opfer, wer Täter?
Diese Frage lässt der in den Niederlanden lebende israelische Choreograf Itzik Galili in seiner atemstockenden, temporeichen Produktion »For Heaven's Sake« (2001, Um Himmels willen) offen im Raum stehen. Ihm geht es in seinem Stück um die Notwendigkeit einer friedlichen Lösung seiner Heimat. Diese Notwendigkeit wirft er mit gleichsam wuchtigen wie sensiblen Bildern und einer rabiaten, ungestümen, akrobatischen Bewegungssprache auf. Direkt, aber niemals überladen.
Beim Festival Tanztheater International in Hannover wurde sein Ensemble »Galili Dance« am Wochenende im fast ausverkauften Schauspielhaus minutenlang frenetisch gefeiert.
Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 10.09.2002

Galili Dance beim TANZtheater International: So politisch, so ergreifend ist Tanztheater selten

1991 emigrierte der israelische Künstler nach Holland, geprägt vom Elend des Krieges in seiner Heimat. Und er findet, kaum glaublich, Möglichkeiten, seine Absage an Gewalt und Krieg, sein Plädoyer für den Frieden in eine atemberaubende Tanzshow umzusetzen. (...) Wunderbar ein zarter Zweiertanz über die Diagonale, eine anrührende Suche nach Menschlichkeit. In dieser gegensätzlichen Spannung von Ungestüm, Wehmut und Zerbrechlichkeit liegt die Stärke von Galilis Choreografie, die im Schauspielhaus überschwänglich gefeiert wurde.
Neue Presse, 10.09.2002

In a political respect, Galili is courageous by consistently pleading the necessity of the path of reason towards peace. Also in an artistic respect, he certainly does not lack guts in elaborating such a tricky theme in a piece that cleverly alternates passionate group dance with theatrical images, and which as a whole gets across as being extremely inspired.
NRC Handelsblad, 3 December, 2001

Here, there subsequently unfolds one of the most beautiful, dynamic and thrilling dance scenes of the Holland Dance Festival 2001, of which this performance was the last one. (...) Galili creates poetry out of the violent Middle Eastern conflict in one of his best productions since he descended upon Groningen a couple of years ago. The large ensemble, the immense stage and the music performed live once again persuade him to an idiom full of atmosphere, with which he has made such an impression in the Netherlands: robust, impetuous, violent, charged, and yet of a fragile beauty because of the emotion that arises notably from the duets.
De Volkskrant, 3. Dezember, 2001

For Heaven's Sake hurls you back and forth between spectacular speeds and moments of total intimacy. Dance, light effects and oriental strains of music manage to cleverly alternate brutal and subtle moments. On stage, the dancers make unusual, drawn-out movements, portraying uprootedness and fear. For HeavenÕs Sake is powerful and intense, theatrical without exaggeration. A performance not merely to be seen, but to be experienced.
Spits, 3. Dezember, 2001

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