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03 August 2023

by Ran Brown for Haaretz

The dance creations of Michael Getman and Roy Assaf bring a refreshing breeze to this heavy summer. While distinctly different, both works achieve a remarkable balance between delicate choreography and stunning performances. Premiering at the “Tel Aviv Dance” festival, these pieces delve into the essence of dance, challenging its ability to convey profound messages through movement.

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Photo by Idan Herson

“First Things” by Michael Getman opens with a powerful blast, followed by a mesmerizing birth of an image from the darkness. This pivotal moment captures the essence of the work, emphasizing the birth of imagery before movement becomes explicit and words gain understanding. Stuttering, a recurring theme, manifests in various forms - from fleeting stationary images to hesitant movements, even to an authentic voice where Galbert’s utterances explore many languages. It is a captivating, productive stutter that momentarily captures the essence of perception, language, words, and movement before slipping away, like trying to grasp a fleeting thought that sparks countless more.

These work beautifully question the capacity of dance to communicate and provoke thought, especially when juxtaposed with spoken words, which linger in the soundtrack, on the dancers’ lips, and within the minds of observers. It is a “double win” - a triumph of conceptual exploration, a poetic venom expressed through dance, redefining how we perceive this art form. This piece is a testimony to dance’s profound and elusive nature, invoking many sensations and sparking endless contemplation.

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