photo: Elad Debi, Avi Luski
Artistic directress of Vertigo, Noa Vertheim, added another original creation to her long line of dance works dealing with spiritual content – as well as environmental and social issues- often referring to various shades of faith along the way. Fortunately, she wraps her investigative process with rather vague abstract body manifestations, which perfectly fit contemporary dance genera and her own sensitiveness.
With the years, she succeeded to solidify a rather consistence artistic voice which borders on new-age perceptions which worked for her for decades. In that sense, Pardes, is a great test case for a choreographic endeavor synced to perfection with original music, written by talented percussionist Itamar Doari. Apparently Doari who worked with the company during rehearsals, interwove and recorded the music with dance sections on site.
Both artistic disciplines synced rather well on stage. Wertheim's used the title Pardes and its various cultural ties- among them the Kaballah- but mostly to the word's origin in ancient Persia language- which supported the dance mystical rites accentuated with its tribal-like costumes. performed by all six dancers wearing black skirts- an attire which always worked in dance that wanted to add tribal aroma of yesteryears and borrowed from unspecific cultures or folkloric sources; bits from Suffi rites, eastern European folk dance like barrel jumps which fitted in quite effectively.
Just to make sure that the point is clear, Doari later added more specific Oriental musical flavors, and Wertheim on her part, added more gyrating pelvises.
Pardes enjoyed smooth transitions between rather short sections ; a change between mellow moods to more intense ones, group sections replacing short duets, in a pleasing flow. There was one exception, an out of gauge cargo, depicting an abused girl by her duet partner, which initiated a prolong scene which brought to mind the long dying scene of the betrayed Giselle, without her fineness.
Pardes, had proved to be finely crafted work by Wertheim, and was full of pleasant scenes, particularly some duets and fewer solos. It seemed to cater for larger audiences without risking stepping out of her safe zones, or daring to challenge her audiences and herself.
We are used to see Vertigo among the larger companies when it comes to government support. Yet, those six dancers on Suzanne Dellal's stage, confounded by opaque red panels, worked well as an intimate ensemble with well polished dancers, so each one of them was noticed.