Love, jealousy, abandonment

Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al met when they were dancing together at the Tamar Dance Company in Jerusalem. One day during rehearsals the choreographer asked Wertheim to try a complex movement, she took the risk and Sha’al caught her as she fell. After that they became partners in life and in dance, had three children and founded a dance group together. That is their story and the story of the Vertigo dance company, one of Israel’s leading contemporary dance troupes, that will perform its work «The Power of Human Relations» at the American-Hellenic Arts Center in Halandri tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. Choreographed by Wertheim, the performance features live music by the Diamonds music ensemble. Adi Sha’al talked to Kathimerini about «The Power of Human Relations,» the dance company and plans for the future. Why did you choose to name your dance company Vertigo? Vertigo was the natural force that inspired the first duet which Noa and I created. I experienced vertigo when I was a pilot for the Israeli air force. I took the feelings of dizziness, losing control and disorientation to make that first piece and Noa, who also did her military service, could understand the feelings. But we pushed it even further, as the feeling of vertigo expressed itself in our personal relations, in dance and in our daily life. As an artist living in Israel, I think that most people there experience vertigo in some way; it is something everybody can relate to. What can you tell us about the production we shall be seeing in Athens? It is a piece about life, love, jealousy, abandonment and the need to let ourselves go… What are your plans for the future? Right now we are making an effort to launch our Eco-Art village. It will be a venue that will bring together art and ecology and create a unique community that will be like an educational village in the countryside. It will also be a center of revival for people from all over the world. It is a well-known fact that your company has a keen interest in community dance. We see dance as an artistic expression that should be accessible to all. Part of the work we do are the dance workshops we hold in refugee camps during wartime but also in communities all around the outskirts of Israel. These workshops are addressed to people of all ages. How does daily life in Israel and the threat of war affect the way your create? Let me ask you a question. How many dancers do you know who have served in the army? In Vertigo most dancers have done military service. We don’t do political dance, but just the fact that you live there touches you. We do dance in a country where life is vulnerable… At the American-Hellenic Arts Center (53 Garyttou, Halandri, tel 210.639.3341). Performances start at 8.30 p. m. on all three days. Tickets can be purchased at Ticket Services (39 Panepistimiou) and on tel 210.723.4567.