New Israeli Voices Program Features Compelling Dance by Hillel Kogan and Danielle Agami
WHITE BIRD UNCAGED BRINGS “NEW ISRAELI VOICES IN DANCE” TO LINCOLN HALL WITH
TWO COMPELLING WORKS BY HILLEL KOGAN AND DANIELLE AGAMI.
KOGAN’S “WE LOVE ARABS” ADDRESSES THEME OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY WITH GREAT HUMOR
AND AGAMI’S NEW WORK, COMMISSIONED BY WHITE BIRD,
DISPLAYS STRONG PHYSICALITY AND UNCONVENTIONAL MOVEMENT.
POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS EACH EVENING WILL INCLUDE MODERATORS FROM MITTLEMAN JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER AND JUDAIC STUDIES DEPARTMENT, PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY.
When: March 19-21, Thursday – Saturday 8PM
Where: Lincoln Hall, College of the Arts, Portland State University
Tickets: Starting at $25, available at whitebird.org. NO added fees.
1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
Discounts available for groups/students and seniors.
Media Sponsor: Willamette Week
Special Added Event: Meet Danielle Agami and Hillel Kogan at Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Sunday, March 22, 3pm, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, oregonjcc.org/arts
“The Israeli dance scene is recognized for its dynamic energy, complexity and intensity.” Brian Schaefer,
Arts and Cultural Writer for The New York Times and Haaretz (Israeli)
White Bird Uncaged is proud to present a new program New Israeli Voices In Dance by two important Israeli choreographers Hillel Kogan and Danielle Agami, March 19-21 at Lincoln Hall. The split evening will include “We Love Arabs” by Kogan, rehearsal director of Israel’s famed Batsheva Dance Company, and “Exhibit b” by Danielle Agami, former Batsheva dancer and Artistic Director of Ate9 Dance Company, based in Los Angeles. White Bird has created this new program to showcase two Israeli artists long associated with Batsheva who are now receiving acclaim for their unique approaches to movement, combined with theatricality and humor.
The evening will begin with Danielle’s Agami’s new work commissioned by White Bird, Exhibit b for her company of 7 dancers Ate9. Since this 30-minute work will have its world premiere with White Bird, details about the work are not yet available. However, Exhibit b can be viewed as a companion piece to Exhibit a, which Agami created a year ago. Characteristics of that work, which can be applied to much of Agami’s choreography, is unpredictable highly physical movement and a manic sense of humor. Los Angeles arts blogger Debra Levin cited Agami’s “queer, unexpected locomotion streaming forth–legs swing from the hip…. a sideways bounce on derriere.” When Ate9 premiered its new work mouth to mouth in Vancouver, BC also a year ago , the Georgia Straight declared, “The rush of bodies, the detailed, edgy movement, and the thumping beats fully captured the sound and the fury, the rapture and the rush of life. Odd, fleeting, and gorgeous, it left you wanting much, much more.”
Complementing Agami’s new work is Hillel Kogan’s theatrical We Love Arabs, combining spoken text with intense physicality, laced with humor and emotion. Premiering in Tel Aviv in 2013, Kogan’s 40-minute work revolves around an Israeli Jewish choreographer Hillel Kogan setting a dance piece on an Israeli Arab dancer Adi Boutros. Kogan touches on themes of Jewish and Arab religious identities and cultural differences, especially the preconceptions and prejudices people betray when interacting with those of another culture, race and religion. The Jerusalem Post’s Ora Brafman declared of this work, “We Love Arabs is a true masterpiece by all measures. I can’t think at the moment of a dance piece that is as witty, provocative, political and hilarious as that one… Kogan is a first rate dancer, actor with exquisite sense of ‘space,’ and superb sense of timing. This cohesive piece is by far the most brilliant choreographic adventure I have seen in years!”
Following the two-part program each night will be an interactive conversation with Hillel Kogan, Danielle Agami and their companies, with the audience, focused on the fascinating issues raised by their works work. A different moderator will oversee each of the three post-show discussions: on Thursday, Steven Albert, Executive Director of the Mittleman Jewish Community Center and Saturday, Nina Spiegel, Professor of Judaic Studies, Portland State University. The moderator for Friday has yet to be announced.
On Sunday, March 22, 3pm, the two choreographers will discuss their work as artists in Israel at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, For information, visit oregonjcc.org/arts
Hillel Kogan studied at Bat Dor Dance Company in Tel Aviv and in the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York. In 1995 after military service in Israel, he joined the Batsheva Ensemble (Director Ohad Naharin). Between 1998 and 2005 he danced with Ballet Gulbenkian in Portugal. As a choreographer he created work for the Portuguese National Ballet, as well as for himself and for other dance groups in Israel and in Portugal. Since 1998 he has worked actively as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in Israel. In 2005, Kogan was invited by Ohad Naharin to take the post of rehearsal director of the Batsheva Ensemble. He has won numerous prizes, including the Israeli prestigious Teva Prize for dance artists, the Yair Shapira Foundation Prize, and in 2013 Outstanding Creator Prize for We Love Arabs by the Israeli Dance Critics Circle.
Danielle Agami studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance High School and was a member of the Batsheva Dance Company. Between 2007 and 2009, Agami served as the Artistic Director of Batsheva Dancers Create, and functioned as the company’s rehearsal director from 2008-2010. In 2009, she was awarded the Yair Shapira Prize for Excellence in Dance. After 8 years with Batsheva, Agami moved to New York to serve as the Senior Manager of Gaga U.S.A. Since arriving in the U.S., she has created original work at Rutgers University (NJ), Boston Conservatory (MA), Springboard Montreal, Cornish College for the Arts (WA), and many more. Agami then relocated to Seattle, where she founded Ate9—an undertaking that fully realized her artistic voice as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Over the past two and half years she has created Sally meets Stu, Sheila, TacTics, mouth to mouth, For Now, Exhibit O and Queen George for Ate9. Her choreographic talent has been sought out over the years and as a result she has been commissioned to create work for companies around the globe including Portland’s Northwest Dance Project, L.A. Dance Project and White Bird.
White Bird’s presentation of New Israeli Voices in Dance is supported by the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest in San Francisco, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), and the National Endowment for the Arts. White Bird Uncaged 2014-15 is made possible by support from Ronni Lacroute/WillaKenzie Estate and the National Endowment for the Arts. White Bird’s 2014-15 season is suppored by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, Work for Art, Oregon Arts Commission, The Autzen Foundation, Trust Management Services, The Jaffe Foundation, The Boeing Company and Multnomah County Cultural Coalition.