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Cycles of life

By Jiang Yuxia (Global Times)

10:16, July 27, 2012

The Beijing Dance Festival culminates with Israeli modern dance production If At All.

Referred to as a "political choreographer" by dance critics in his native Israel, Rami Be'er, the artistic director of the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC), has created more than 50 works that infuse his insight on social and political issues. Although his latest work, If At All, deviates from the political issues he often explores, his hope is that audiences will still tap into the dance's social undertones.

Premiering in Israel in January this year, If At All is the company's latest production. It makes its China debut at the People's Liberation Army Theater on Saturday to close the week-long Beijing Dance Festival.

On an empty, dimly lit stage, movements in the 65-minute dance are as diversified as they are expressive. The 15 dancers, performing either solo or in groups, jump and spin on their toes, roll on the floor and stretch their limbs and bodies to the limit.

Creating a flowing theatrical scene onstage, dancers move in abstract circles that signify the choreographer's association and understanding of interpersonal relationships in an ever-changing society.

"It's not an interpretation of reality. I invite each audience member to connect themselves to the piece through their own associations, memories, thoughts and feelings," the 55-year-old choreographer told Metro Beijing via e-mail.

He has been teaching performers in his company that the world of modern dance isn't detached from reality.

"Life is a cycle that spans birth to death, with other cycles in different dimensions. There is the cycle of the individual and himself, the cycle of relationships between couples, and the cycle of individuals within society," said Be'er, whose dance company visited China for the first time in 1992. "We can, from a different point of view, see [cycles] also in nature."

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