VERTIGO DANCE COMPANY
July 6, 2012
Vertigo Dance Company from Israel presented MANA (2009) as part of the 80th
Anniversary season at Jacob's Pillow. The dance by choreographer and director Noa
Wertheim, examines things old and new, current and ancient, light and dark. Compelling
stage design and beautifully draped costumes by Rakefet Levy-School of Theatrical
Design, combine with the dramatic lighting by Dani Fishof-Magenta.
A lone man, Micah Amos, cuts a striking figure before the silhouette of a white house.
Wearing voluminous dark clothing, Amos gently circles his elbows then breathlessly fling his arms up to the sky.He
appears to grasp at the mystical light, perhaps attempting to be a "vessel
of light"- the Aramic translation of 'mana' found in the ancient text of The Zohar. Tomar
Navot joins him and they take part in a prayer or ritual, sharing the simple
comfort of human touch.
A square door opens, backing away and separating from the house, allowing more
dancers to enter the scene. Moving in unison they cast haunting shadows, their
movements becoming watery. The women are covered in long sweaters and head
scarves, as the group dances to poignant old-style movie music. Intensity and volume build matching Ran Bagno's shift to electronic music.
In a black ruffled top and shorts, Rina Wetheim-Koren enters on sexy tip
toe. She weaves through the dancers, a large gray balloon suspended with strings from
her shoulders. Her long arabesque with extended arms looks like a broken bird, while
the quiet power of Eyal Vizner provides an expressive counterpoint to her delicacy. Three women shed layers exposing shoulders, arms and a triangle of back, evolving into a
particularly feminine section that evokes feelings
of desperation and agitation. Five men stand and watch from the side, reminding us that
we too are voyeurs.
A sensitive pas de deux for Mr. Vizner and the young Nitsan Margaliot stands out along with Emmy Wielunski's stunning, fluttering hand-movement. Mr. Vizner, Mr. Amos, Mr. Margaliot and the vibrant Ruth
Valensi form a moving quartet. It demonstrates the equality and strength of men and women who stay grounded
while wishing to soar......like the hovering gray balloon.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deborah Wingert