Israel’s Eclectic, Elastic Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company performing, "If at All"

So stark, strong and organic and yet so abstract and light you are not quite sure whether the dancers in the Israel’s Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company will go right through the floor when they are running in huge circles or float away.  But from the moment Artistic Director Rami Be’er’s first dancer took to the stage to the very final moment, the audience was captivated and still as if in reverence  until a burst of applause broke the silence and the crowd went wild.  The performance Israel’s Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in the Wallis Annenberg Center’s Bram Goldsmith Theater for the Performing Arts, was one of three sold out  three performances this season.  

 

(KCDC) is widely identified with the work of Artistic Director Rami Be’er, whose singular choreographic character has become the company’s trademark, both in Israel and abroad. His work invites the audience to participate and interpret on their own all the while offering an abstract and yet imaginary-real picture of the world.  Dancers dressed in a black skirt pant added to the stark light and shadow playing on the dancers in such unison.  It felt as if some force was moving them independently from their own bodies.   If anyone arrived at the performance expecting the wild exuberance of the freewheeling, upbeat commune dancing of old, this was the opposite.  I know I did.

 

KCDC performed it’s current signature piece, If At All, somber and abstract as its title with figurative and abstract circles running through it.  “The piece deals with the issue of our existence,” explains choreographer and Artistic Director Rami Be’er.  “We start as individuals, and then enter into society as couples, and then groups, all of us connected to life in the here and now.”

 

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company(KCDC) is widely identified with this representative piece, the work of Be’er, both in Israel and abroad, along with the precise technique and physically eclectic cast of elastic dancers.  The KCDC characterizes Israeli dance at its best and performs regularly in the most respected theaters and at leading festivals worldwide   It was founded in 1973 by the late Yehudit Arnon who laid the foundation for today's thriving International Dance.

    

The electric, elastic KCDC

       

KCDC is situated in a most extraordinary and beautiful location; the International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga'aton, Israel. The International Dance Village is the heart and home of the company and is comprised of a total of over 60 Israeli and international dancers. These dancers make up KCDC’s main company, KCDC's second company (KCDC 2), and KCDC’s 5-month & 10-month international dance program Dance Journey. KCDC also hosts an annual Summer Intensive for local and international dancers as well as year-round courses.KCDC was established in 1970 in Kibbutz Ga’aton, situated in the Western Galilee of northern Israel. KCDC has developed a thriving and unique “International Dance Village,” a place unlike any other where the dancers live and work together to create, be inspired by and celebrate dance.  

 

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC) was founded by the late Yehudit Arnon (1926-2013) who laid the foundation for it evolving into a first-class center for dance under the leadership of current artistic director Rami Be'er.

 

Born in Komárno, Czechoslovakia, Arnon was a Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz.  As a child she had a natural ability towards dance.   When she was seventeen, she and her mother were taken to Auschwitz; her mother did not survive.  Arnon then went to Birkenau concentration camp, where she began to covertly share her love of movement with the other inmates. The Germans eventually learned of her talents and ordered her to entertain them at Christmas; when she refused, thinking that she would perish, they ordered her to stand barefoot in the snow through the night.  Later in May 1945, she survived a firing squad when the Soviet army arrived and the Germans fled.  Arnon thought that if she survived the war, that she would make dance her life’s work.

 

At the conclusion of World War II, she made her way to Budapest, Hungary, and then in 1948, to the extraordinarily beautiful Kibbutz Ga’aton in the Western Galilee, close to the Lebanon border. Once there, Arnon began to teach movement to children.  This work eventually led to a dance center, and the 1959 formation of the Ga’aton Dance Company, which became Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in 1973.  Kibbutzim in general are organized around agriculture, but as KCDC began to grow (the tobacco plant fields are now the dance studios), Kibbutz Ga’aton became about providing a unique environment for the dance company, in which the artists all work and live in the International Dance Village, heart and home to the company with over 60 Israeli and international dancers.  

 

These 60 dancers make up KCDC’s main company, KCDC's second company (KCDC 2), and KCDC’s 5-month & 10-month international dance program Dance Journey KCDC also hosts an annual Summer Intensive for local and international dancers plus year-round courses.  The company grew large enough that Arnon brought significant world choreographers and teachers to the company -- including Jiri Kylian and Mats Ek.

 

Arnon’s successor, current KCDC artistic director Rami Be'er, was born to a family of musicians at Kibbutz Ga’aton. Early, he studied dance with Arnon.  He joined KCDC as a dancer and choreographer in 1980 and took over the company’s artistic direction in 1996. 

 

Since then, he has choreographed over 50 works for the company as well as some delightful and highly popular children’s works.  For Be’er, the performance is a 'unity' composed of various elements; he also designs sets, lighting and at times costumes for his works.  His creations have become internationally acclaimed and Be'er has been awarded prizes both in Israel and abroad. 

 

Bram Goldsmith Theatre – Wallis Annenberg Center,  9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 - 310-746-4000  Onlinewww.thewallis.org

Top of Page

lasplash.com
Join Splash Magazines

Feature Article

Tempflow™ and Tempur-Pedic® Reviews - What 35 Hours of Research Uncovered

Want Your Business to Male a Splash
<!-- #wrapper -->