reviewed by Paula Citron
Overview of Israeli Dance and Theatre
International Exposure 2009
I’m wrapping up a cultural mission to Israel called International Exposure which is a curated showcase of dance and theatre. What follows is my commentary on the present state of the arts – after having sat through 60 shows and counting.
It is very clear that Israel is a leading force in dance in the world. The track record of the various dance companies big and small is a strong indicator because they have consistently toured to festivals and theatres abroad. Big companies like Batsheva and Kibbutz dazzle with polish and sophistication, while smaller companies are heralded for their innovation.
And then there is theatre. Even the government official leading our mission admitted that theatre is a disappointment on the very top tier including Israel’s national theatre Habima which is considered a conservative museum.
It is the Jerusalem-based School of Visual Theatre that is producing the artists who work in the experimental fields of physical, visual and object theatre that are exciting foreign presenters.