Director Sha'ar HaNegev Dance Center, Israel
Dear Michal [Israel tour producer]
A few months ago you approached me with an offer to take us to the wee dance company's Romeo & Juliet event, but it seemed too complicated. The sheer expense and the associated commitment to enjoy the performance and workshop put me off and I passed.
Of course, it is very easy for me to turn down repeated offers these days, as I am inundated at least once a day with various offers to take my students to this or that event, and I feel more and more the industrial culture business breathing down my neck. This will be followed by many more and to my regret I have already become cynical and meanwhile ignore most of them, because it is simply impossible to spend the whole day trying to filter out and determine where quality really lies.
By great good fortune for me and my students, you have remained consistent and have tried to find solutions to bring 30 of my students in an expensive bus directly from the Sha'ar HaNegev, located in the south, to the center of artistic and dance creation: the "Machsan 2", Tel Aviv.
I came with no particular expectations. I see many dance productions and I take care to offer my students enriching dance workshops with diverse choreographers and dancers several times a year. While there is something to be enjoyed and taken from each, the past taught me not to have great expectations.
Now, after the performance and workshop, I can't even manage to calm down from the great excitement we experienced on this special day. Not just another workshop or performance, comparable to many an-others we have already experienced, but quality, at the highest level, the likes of which I have not had the pleasure of witnessing in recent years (or even in the last decade).
Although the workshop was before the performance, I'll start with the performance.
For two hours we sat in the theater and had a multi-sensory, high quality experience that encompassed the entire spectrum of the human condition. Intellectual, musical, dance, emotional, with an extraordinary visual composition and stage elements that condensed the intellectual depths of the interpretation of the literary and musical work.
I felt that for two hours, at every level of my existence, I was paid the highest respect I have had the privilege of experiencing at dance in years.
What was exciting was that no aspect of the piece overshadowed another: the intellectual interpretation to the literary and musical foundation was equal to the impressive dance virtuosity. It has been so long since I have been privileged to see such high quality dance, displaying skills that require years of training and perseverance (and not just minimalist gestures); just to see the impressive falls of the dancers and thus grasp the profundity of the physical mastery.
The stage elements were another means of deepening the textual and musical interpretation, thus taking on an even greater dance challenge.
Every component of the performance was precise and served the whole we were offered. A multi-sensory and intellectual experience of the highest order. Thank you for the great honor you have done us through this experience. As I have written before, it has been a long time since I have felt so respected.
And the workshop:
Again, the wonderful Marko gave us an hour and a half of information and experience, clearly knowing what he wants to convey and how. Again, I must mention many other experiences I have had at workshops. Often, I feel that the dancers/choreographers leading the workshop do not really deal with it sufficiently thoughtfully to convey and get as much as they can out of the students. Again, to my great delight, Marko provided us with a high quality workshop that included both an exciting physical and dance experience, as well as knowledge about movement that can be taken away to continue learning in our regular class schedule at the dance school. The students had a lot of fun and asked their teachers to continue working on the movement phrases in class.
Again, Marko's ability to be so professional and precise in his dance requirements, yet so gentle and comfortable was very impressive.
Dear Michal, I cannot find sufficient words to thank you for your perseverance. I suspect we will have to wait many years to have another experience of such positive power. Please pass on our deepest gratitude to Marko and Danny for being who they are and for your loyalty to the profundity of human existence, uncompromising on all levels and dimensions. And miraculously, all this is accomplished with gentleness and respect. In my worldview, this is the best way for human beings to learn and receive.
The next time they are in the country, you will not have to convince me - I will be there before anyone else.
„Scha'ar HaNegev“ Dance Centre