Our Executive Director, Mirna Zagar, introduces the work of the sensational Israeli choreographer Sharon Fridman, coming to Vancouver October 12-14 as part of our Global Dance Connections series:
When did you first meet Sharon Fridman?
I first met Sharon in early 2000 in Tel Aviv, he had already been dancing for the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and the Ido Tadmor Dance Company but was also branching out on his own. In 2007, soon after he established his company in Spain, I saw his work at the prestigious Spanish national competition Certamen Coreografico de Madrid . Then again in 2008 as he participated in the Royal Opera House in London in a project developed to support young choreographers led by Wayne McGregor. My next opportunity to follow the evolution of his artistic fingerprint was 2009-11, as he participated in a 2-year project, Choreoroam . It was clear that his ability to craft movement and his sense of the body in space, along with the weaving of emotional layers, all rooted in the earthiness of Israeli folklore, and juxtaposed with release and contact techniques, is quite unique and magical. I have presented his work twice at Dance Week Festival in Croatia including Hasta Dónde…? and Free Fall, a work which engaged non-dancers and evolved out of working with the community – something that Sharon is very passionate about.
How would you describe Sharon Fridman?
Sharon is first and foremost a wonderful and generous human being, this is visible and very tangibly felt in works such as Hasta Dónde…?. His own approach to choreography is a portrait of who he is: his language is contact improvisation (form of dance based on physical tough, momentum, shared weight and contact), his choreographic interests carry a social dimension of dance and as an artist he is continually seeking a way to break down the “fourth wall” and to connect more with the audience as he aims to make each of his dances a personal experience for the audience.
Why was it important for you to bring his work to Vancouver?
Those who know me know that I follow artists from the early stages and am connected to their development; at The Dance Centre we strive to bring unique experiences to our audiences, but also look at connections to be made and what resonance the works have to our community. Contact improvisation is deeply rooted in Vancouver’s dance scene and history, notably through EDAM. In observing Sharon’s work, I could not help thinking of Vancouver and the potential artistic dialogue there could be. When I met him again at CINARS in Montreal and there was interest from partners in Halifax to bring the work to Canada, I agreed and saw the opportunity to bring Sharon’s work to the west coast.
What is unique about Sharon Fridman’s approach and his use of contact improvisation?
Both the works Hasta Dónde…? and All Ways epitomize his artistic voice. His method of choreography is also a philosophy of understanding the relationships between human beings. In his work we can see what matters to Sharon: a sincere expression of what is happening inside us, dance and movement as an internal, irreversible need and urge. It is how the added earthiness in the athleticism of the challenging encounters that contact brings about, that allows his work to offer a connection to the deeper self, placing an unexpected layer onto the way contact release technique is usually utilized as a choreographic methodology.
What can you tell us about the two works Sharon’s company is performing in Vancouver?
Sharon’s company will show the duet Hasta Dónde…? that has taken the dance world by storm it has been performed in more than 30 cities and has won several awards - and his most recent ensemble work, All Ways where seven dancers take us on a meditative journey as they power themselves through an extreme physical and emotional spectrum ranging from a fierce sense of urgency to calming contemplation.
The Dance Centre presents Compañia Sharon Fridman's Hasta Dónde…? + All Ways, as part of the Global Dance Connections series.
October 12-14, 2017 at 8pm | Post-show talkback October 13
Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver
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Photo credit: Ignacio Urrutia