Past shows

Truffles

Choreography: Amir Kolben

Truffles explores the theme of food – a subject that links the biological with the cultural and the satisfaction of a craving with social conditioning. In Truffles, a group of people, whose relationship is unclear, finds themselves at a formal dinner, where there is no host – only guests. Stories and memories surface throughout the evening – linked by the common thread of eating. The exchange of stories and memories, in which every person is an ingredient in someone else’s dish, takes place around a real or fictional dining table, shifting social ties and formulating cultural rituals that turn into an all-out struggle for survival, dropping all masks and social etiquette.

Food is perhaps the most primal connection to the world we experience as babies, and continues to be a subconscious form of communication between people in different social situations: business dinner, romantic date, cocktail party, or wedding reception. The function of food as a means of communication is also expressed in many TV shows that focus on food in different forms, facilitating reciprocal influences between different food cultures. But food is also prey.  It is the cruel embodiment of the hierarchy in the animal kingdom or in human society.

Grandma cooked porridge. She gave him, her, and the other one, and there was none left for the little one left last. Even this naïve nursery rhyme always ends with being eaten. And Chad Gadya, the tale sung after the meal in Passover Seder, is a story of hierarchy that starts with eating the innocent little goat, while pointing to the natural food chain, where the strong survive and the weak are eaten. The Social Protests of the summer of 2011 can also be interpreted in this context, a protest launched in the wake of the success of the cottage cheese boycott.

All these ingredients were “cooked” together in a piece that offers a different perspective on every day (often intimate) acts of eating, biting, swallowing, and licking. In Truffles the hedonistic pleasure and the pain of self-denial, the grotesque and the sublime, passion and repulsion are mixed to create an appetizing and thought-provoking dish.

Costume design: Hagar Vital

Lighting design: Shay Yehudai

Set and sound design: Amir Kolben

Music: Balmorhea, Dimitri Shostakovich, Laurie Anderson, Charlie Chaplin, Diamanda Galas, Leila Arab, Chava Alberstein

Collaborating dancers (Original Cast):  Irit Amichai, Stav Dror, Alissa Sugar, Erin Shand, Delphine Yungman, Harel Grajutis, Sela Fried, Sergey Shamota,

 

Charlie Mandelbaum

Choreography: Amir Kolben

Charlie is Charlie Chaplin – the winner-loser who could only exist in a world that classifies people through this lens.

Charlie is Charles Lindbergh who crossed the sky and the human imagination in a rickety airplane, proving that there are no limits to human audacity.

Charlie is all the soldiers who could have given their names to Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie – the crossing point between two hostile parts of a divided city.

As for Mandelbaum – Mandelbaum is us. He is everything Charlie can’t be. Mandelbaum dreams to become Charlie one day.

Mandelbaum is the passage in the wall between the two parts of Jerusalem – before it was Jerusalem of gold. And now, when the wall is not seen (but is still painfully present), perhaps Mandelbaum could go back to being just another man, who lives on just another street, in just another country that happens to be ours.

The show deals with interpersonal and social borders and territories. It turns the spotlight on borders – whether self-imposed or enforced by an external power, without ignoring the ambiguity and vagueness of the terms “border” and “territory.” Blurring the boundary between inside and outside, stage and hall, dancers and viewers, generates a sense of temporary insanity that seeps in.

Costume design: Hagit Abir

Lighting design: Shay Yehudai

Set and soundtrack design: Amir Kolben

Music: Algir Naudir Wunjo, The Tiger Lillies, Balkan Beat Box, Einstuerzende Neubauten, Apocalyptica, Patrick Watson, Mercan Dede, Itai Gabinet

Collaborating dancers (Original Cast):  ):  Irit Amichai, Erin Shand, Aviv Shem-Tov, Inbar Shalev, Nitzan Bardichev, Harel Grajutis, Daniel Maser, Ron Matalon

The Gate of Winds

Choreography: Margaret Jenkins and Amir Kolben

An international collaboration with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company of San Francisco. The Gate of Winds launched the celebrations of Margaret Jenkins Dance Company’s 40th anniversary in a world premiere in San Francisco, and was later performed at the Israel Festival in Jerusalem.

The Gate of Winds brought together two very different dance companies, alternately blurring and highlighting their differences. Kolben Dance Company energetic and passionate dance language merged with the lyrical language of Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, forming a new language and a fascinating meeting point. The relationship that takes shape on stage between the two companies offers a metaphor for a possibility of shared living. The Gate of Winds was created as Margaret Jenkins and Amir Kolben’s response to what Jerusalem – the city and the experience – evokes in them. At the same time, this is not a concrete, identifiable Jerusalem, but rather a very personal, almost invisible Jerusalem.

Lighting design: Alexander V. Nichols

Artistic partner:  Michael Palmer

Costume design: Mary Domenico

Sound design: Amir Kolben

Collaborating dancers:

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company: Brendan Barthel, Margaret Cromwell, Kelly Del Rosario, Chinchin Hsu, Risa Larsen, Ryan t. Smith, Megan Wright

Kolben Dance Company: Irit Amichai, Erin Shand, Aviv Shem-Tov, Inbar Shalev, Nitzan Bardichev, Harel Grajutis, Daniel Maser, Ron Matalon

 

Living in a Movie

One night. Two choreographies.

The choreographers Amir Kolben and Rachel Erdos explored, each in his and her own way, the similarities and differences between dance and cinema. The show Living in a Movie is the outcome of the dialogue between two perspectives that give in to the seduction of cinema – or, if you will, two different camera angles of one observed object.

The pieces take place in the twilight zone between reality and imagination, where everything is possible, and the impossible encounter between characters from different films becomes a reality.

White Shadow

Choreography: Amir Kolben

We all live in a movie of which we are the director, whether we want it or not. Each of us is the total sum of the frames of his life. And these frames are finite. Not just because of our limited life span, but because each one of us is who he is thanks to a limited number of frames he can use.

White Shadow is where one person’s frame meets the other’s frame for a brief moment or two. At times, like a little miracle, these merge to form a small story or a harmonious whole. But usually, like in life, they keep on searching for that harmony.

Pieces of meaning and fragments of life surface and meet, trying to form a complete tapestry that does not exist anywhere and would not be possible in any other place other than here and now, in this random moment – which is both as real as possible and absolutely ephemeral.

White Shadow is the invisible traces of the body in motion. The intangible, which cannot exist without the tangible body that creates it. White Shadow weaves a new reality, fictional like the movies that inspired it, which touches on the relationship between reality and the imagination in the cinematic-dance context.

The space conjured by White Shadow, summons – like the Matrix or Truman Show – questions surrounding the essence of the real, and the possibility to know for certain that it does indeed exist.

Costume design: Adi Yair

Lighting design: Shay Yehudai

Video design and editing: Michelle Fletcher

Set and sound design: Amir Kolben

Music: Scott Walker, Julia Wolfe, Riuichi Sakamoto, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammersteing, The Tiger Lillies, Stephan Sondheim

Collaborating dancers (original Cast): Irit Amichai, Erin Shand, Nitzan Bardichev, Taly Dunin, Julie Zaoui, Daniel Maser, Regev Cohen, Or Algarisi.

 

Steven Was Wrong

Choreography: Rachel Erdos

“Film is like a battleground: love, hate, action, death… In one word, EMOTION.”

 – Samuel Fuller, film director, screenwriter, and producer

Spielberg, Hitchcock, Scorsese, Tarantino, Breton, Allen…

Our reality is shaped and influenced by the characters and stories on the big screen.

Lighting design: Shay Yehudai

Costume design: Veronika Szor

Textile design: Rosello Shmaria

Original score: Alon Peretz

Collaborating dancers (original Cast): Irit Amichai, Erin Shand, Nitzan Bardichev, Taly Dunin, Julie Zaoui, Daniel Maser, Regev Cohen, Or Algarisi.