A Day Spent Devouring...
Behind the Scenes with Netta Yerushalmy
Devouring and DevouringDecember 11, 2012
Christine Jowers for The Dance Enthusiast
Choreographer Netta Yerushalmy is ready for something “grand,” so she has decided to share an evening length work, her first, provocatively entitled Devouring Devouring. The piece will premiere at La Ma Ma’s Ellen Stewart Theatre on December 13th and will run until the 16th of the month.
“I wanted this to be big,” says the choreographer, perched on her chair, as her dancers roll on the floor around her, slowly warming up for their morning rehearsal.
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“I have done a lot of works that are half an hour and I wanted to push myself to create a piece where I looked and kept looking.There are things in it that feel like they have to do with a grandness.”
Even the process of creating Devouring Devouring was ambitious and, yes, grand. Yerushalmy, whose family is from Israel, and who has now lived in New York for 14 years, developed her choreography between Tel Aviv and New York - cities more than 5,000 miles apart.
At times she traveled to Israel conducting creative residencies. Other times she shared movement (no words) via YouTube with her dancer,Ofir Yudilevitch, and waited for his dance feedback. “I wanted to see what comes up when things are interpreted visually through someone’s frame of reference and not through spewing out information and saying what things are.”
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I was privileged to spend a day in rehearsal with Yerushalmy and her dancers Yudilevitch, Joanna Kotze, Stuart Singer, and Toni Melaas. Through my camera lens and sans costumes, props, and the full music score, I witnessed what may be the boney structure of this work. “Good bones,” I thought, as the dancers turned and flew from one point to another only to pause and consider the space around them with the most delicate of gestures.