Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Other Search Options
Bonnie Rosenstock
Dance Events
Dance New York
Music and Dance Reviews
Performance Programs
Performance Reviews
New York Live Arts
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **

ZviDance World Premieres Works of Beauty and Meaning

by Bonnie Rosenstock
December 28, 2018
New York Live Arts
219 W 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-6500
ZviDance’s two world premieres offered up the company’s distinctive movement style and multi-media interdisciplinary approach to creating bold, expressive works. “Bears Ears” was choreographed by the company’s artistic director, Israeli-born Zvi Gotheiner, in collaboration with his eight dancers and Repertory Dance Theater of Utah’s dancers to raise awareness of the current plight at Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. “Detour” was choreographed by Gotheiner and his dancers. The two pieces taken together forged a beautiful whole.

In December 2016, President Barack Obama designated Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah in order to preserve this significant cultural region and to honor the tribal nations that have ancestral and present-day connections to the area. Its canyons, mountains and plateaus have been their home for thousands of years. Consisting of 1.35 million acres (315.4 square miles), the site boasts geologic wonders, a diverse array of flora and fauna, prehistoric structures and landmarks and objects of historic and scientific interest, including rich stores of Triassic period fossils.

Despite an outpouring of support from a broad coalition of native tribes, environmentalists, scientists and ordinary people to preserve the monument, in December 2017, the current president signed a proclamation reducing the monument’s size by 85 percent and fragmenting the remainder into two separate units, which will destroy significant cultural and ecological connections. (Think uranium industry lobby, oil and gas interests, cobalt, coal and copper deposits.)

As a response, Linda Smith, the founder and artistic director of Repertory Dance Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah, invited Gotheiner and his dancers to participate in creating two new works, one for RDT and one for ZviDance. After hiking, exploring, contemplating and improvising movement on rocks and sand during their five-day journey across the monument with Native American guides, the project culminated in “Dancing the Bears Ears” for RDT, which premiered in Salt Lake City last year, and ZviDance’s “Bears Ears,” which had its premiere at New York Live Arts in Chelsea (December 19-22).

ZviDance stated in its program that neither of these dances is a representational work meant to imitate or impersonate Native American people or culture. “They are dances about the beautiful landscape and the incredible humanity that touched us in the deepest way.”

Not representational, but certainly inspirational. “Bears Ears” driving force consisted of ritualistic patterns of movement, accompanied by photographs of the stunning landscape projected on the back wall and soundscapes of rain and wind, a total sensory experience. The piece opened with four dancers in each group facing each other, holding hands and stomping loudly and rhythmically towards each other and away. They also slapped their knees, back of hand to palm, their head, as they moved in their two groups to different parts of the stage. There were many marvelous duets in between the recurring ritual dynamic. Duet with undulating backs, smooth, quick lifts. Duet in which there was a struggle, with neck twists. Playful duet with fine lifts. Duet, she on top as he attempted to move away. One dancer put hands over partner’s eyes, led him, and made him look, as he struggled not to. The total effect was a beautifully crafted, elegant, elegiac work.

“Detour” featured six of ZviDance’s ensemble in lively, solemn, sensuous and sumptuous group dances, various pairings and many masterful solos, “a less direct way to get one from here to there,” according to the press release. The lighting design was mesmerizing: pulsating patterns of light growing, glowing, diminishing and subsuming.

Photo © & courtesy of Heidi Gutman

Photo © & courtesy of Heidi Gutman

Photo © & courtesy of Heidi Gutman

Photo © & courtesy of Heidi Gutman

Photo © & courtesy of Heidi Gutman

Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******