Author Archives: Jerusalem_office

“Creators celebrate 30 years of Vertigo”. By Ori J. Lenkinski

Each of the three days of Vertigo’s celebrations will be dedicated to one of the pillars of their practices.

(photo credit: YOEL LEVY)

There is a common belief among artists that a truly successful creation will change your life. By this measurement, the duet “Vertigo” by Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al was a massively winning creation in that it did not only change the lives of the creators, but of everyone who came into contact with the work and the artists since.

In fact, that first duet, “Vertigo,” performed 30 years ago at the Suzanne Dellal Center, bore the core elements of the mission with which Wertheim and Sha’al went out into the world. Next week, the Vertigo Dance Company will celebrate three decades of activity, in a three-day event dedicated to the pillars of their practice.

“There are the three chapters: Art, Human, Nature. Those are our ethos, principles, that through them we look at everything,” explains Sha’al in a phone interview.

Each of the three days of Vertigo’s celebrations will be dedicated to one of the pillars, Sha’al continues. “The first day is devoted to Nature. We will bring Birth of the Phoenix, the piece that began our journey with the environment. Then there will be a performance called ‘Batzir’ by our students from our professional dance program. That will be followed by a dance party with a DJ.

“The second day is about Art. On that day, Noa will teach a class in the Vertigo language and give a lecture afterward about the philosophy and spirituality of the company’s practice. There will also be a reception for our friends’ circle and finally a performance of ‘Pardes.’


“The last day is about Human. On that day we will hold a performance of the ‘Power of Balance’ initiative. They will perform a piece by Sharon Fridman. Then there will be a panel to talk about the story of integrated dance,” says Sha’al.

The celebrations will continue following the Suzanne Dellal Center weekend, with events in multiple locations. During Sukkot, the company will host performances and workshops at their ecological village on Kibbutz Netiv Halamed Hey. The village, which Wertheim and Sha’al founded as a beacon for environmentally conscious art and life, is an inspiration for people around the world.

“The village is beyond dance,” says Sha’al. “Groups come here for the courses we teach, during the summer for all ages, but also the village draws people from all over. This is a new village that was born in Israel and is recognized internationally.

“For 15 years we have been cultivating this. There’s a theater, people perform here, there are workshops; more and more people come each year, both dancers and not, to experience the meeting of dance and ecology.

“The eco art village is unique in the world. The combination of art and ecology is what distinguishes the company and the village. It’s a holistic approach that is hard to explain. The power of Vertigo is the connection between these things. And people feel it. They take a workshop, see a show, come to the village – that’s the reason to celebrate.”

LATER IN the year, Vertigo will continue the party with a premiere by Wertheim, currently in process. “The premiere will go up in November. For the 30-year anniversary, we went back to work with people we love, such as Ran Bagno, and set and costume designers whom we worked with a lot. We worked with dancers who have been with us for many years and speak the Vertigo language.

“It isn’t only about choreography and movement, but generosity and maturity. We don’t know what will come out in the studio, but there are already 10 shows booked before Noa has even put anything out. That’s a note of respect for an artist that people buy a show before seeing anything, blindly.”

The company is also getting their tour gears back in working order. Recently, Wertheim created a work for a dance company in Kassel, Germany. “It was her first time creating for a company other than Vertigo,” says Sha’al. Later in the year, the company will visit Korea, and in 2023, they will perform at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.

None of this is lost on Sha’al, who continues to be amazed by the wealth of opportunities, influence and knowledge the company has amassed. “We didn’t know that this is what would be, when we made the duet ‘Vertigo.’ It’s something we learned in time, who we are, and not be afraid to say it out loud.”

Vertigo Dance Company will celebrate its 30-year anniversary at the Suzanne Dellal Center from June 15-17. For more information, visit

“Vertigo Dance Company Celebrates 30th Anniversary”. By Ayelet Dekel

Birth of the Phoenix – Vertigo Dance Company/Photo: Yoel Levy

The Vertigo Dance Company will celebrate their 30th anniversary! It’s been 30 years since Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al performed the duet that began the journey and gave the company its name – Vertigo. Celebrations will take place over three days, from June 15 – 17, 2022, at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv, with performances inside the venue as well as outdoors, in the spirit of the company’s values of human, art, and environment.

Each of the three days will be dedicated to one of these core values. Environment will be represented by one of the company’s most beloved works, and a favorite of mine – Birth of the Phoenix. As I wrote the first time I saw the performance in 2014:

Vertigo Dance Company’s Birth of the Phoenix is a work of enduring power and beauty, dazzling in its sensual, spiritual force. The dance takes place outdoors, like the Phoenix, appearing and disappearing in different places. Choreographed by Noa Wertheim, Birth of the Phoenix is performed inside a geodesic bamboo dome. Last night at Suzanne Dellal, people gathered at twilight in the courtyard. Flames dancing in the approaching darkness, torches marked the perimeter as one entered the dome to sit on benches and wooden chairs. At the center, a circle of dark brown earth. Waiting, people talk and look at one another, becoming a temporary community. (Link to the full review)

The performance will take place on Wednesday, June 15th and will be followed by a dance party in the courtyard and select performances by dancers from the Vertigo workshop in Jerusalem.

Pardes – Vertigo Dance Company/Photo: Elad Debi

Art will be the theme for June 16th, with a performance of Pardes, choreographed by Noa Wertheim, accompanied by a discussion with Wertheim on Vertigo and her artistic process.

Itamar Beck & Inbal Aloni in Shape On Us – Vertigo Power of Balance/Photo: Yoel Levy

Community on June 17th will feature several events: a performance by Vertigo – The Power of Balance, a panel discussion on different perspectives on dance and disability, and an integrated dance workshop. (Link to my thoughts on Shape On Us)

In addition to these events, Liba, the site-specific video art exhibit returns to the caves of the Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park and will be on display through July 14, 2022. Selections from works choreographed by Noa Wertheim and performed by Vertigo Dance Company – Pardes, Leela, Yama and Birth of the Phoenix, are projected on the walls of the cave.

The full list of events and tickets are available on the Vertigo Dance Company website.


Liba Beit Guvrin Caves Exhibit


A video-art exhibit by Vertigo Dance Company, that was created especially for the extraordinary spaces of the Bell Cave in the Beit Guvrin – Maresha National Park, which was excavated by the ancient residents of the area.

In the core of the cave, one can hear the heart, the pulse of the earth, and in this magical place, “Liba” pulsates.

The exhibit and the site where it shall be presented unite with the movement of Noa Wertheim, Vertigo’s choreographer and artistic director, who is deeply attached to nature and the environment.

The Exhibit’s Curator: Dorit Talpaz

The interaction between the cave and movement creates a new work of art which intertwines with the viewers’ movement immediately as they enter the exhibit:

The multidimensional dance, which encompasses the viewer from every direction, through images projected onto the caves’ hidden corners and walls, expands the boundaries of the cave through movement and returns to that primal natural womb from which it was created.

“Liba” was created from Noa Wertheim’s repertoire with the Vertigo Dance Company which has been integrated into poetic video art which dances along the seam between spirit and matter – as the dancers’ bodies are projected onto the cave’s walls.

The video art was created by photographer Elad Debi and editor Gal Katzir and includes pieces of Vertigo’s repertoire over the years, including: “Pardes”, “Leela”, “Yama” and “Birth of the Phoenix”.

Beit Guvrin – Maresha National Park – World Heritage Site

The Beit Guvrin – Maresha National Park is the epicenter of the “Land of a Thousand Caves”. The Park presents an ancient architectural wonder – countless spaces, natural and man-made caves that were intended for a wide variety of uses, from dovecotes, through storage and residential purposes, to burial. In 1989 the area was declared a national park to preserve the impressive remnants of the city of Maresha and to preserve the thicket. In recognition of its rich heritage and variety of caves, the National Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. As was defined at the 2014 declaration – “The site has outstanding universal value due to its cultural, human and environmental conservation aspects…”. Including the “Beit Guvrin – Maresha Caves Nation Park” among the prestigious list of the most important and selected sites in the world, positions Israel as a bridge between ancient cultures and as an important focal point for preserving world heritage, while uniquely connecting between past and present. The visit through the site is an extraordinary experience and offers a peek into the wonder of the values of nature, landscape and human heritage throughout history.

The Gallery in the Bell Cave

In as early as ancient times, the residents of the region identified the characteristics of the chalk subsurface. The caves were named the “Bell Caves” due to their shape, which was the result of the way they were quarried. The excavators opened a small opening at the hard top layer, and then expanded their excavation when they reached the soft layer, using iron chisels which left the diagonal digging marks that are evident on the walls of the cave. They used what was removed for construction and the huge spaces mainly served for storage but also as workshops and plastered cisterns.

“Liba” Vértigo en el corazón de la cueva

Una exposición de videoarte de la Compañía de Danza “Vértigo” creada especialmente para la cueva de la campana en el Parque Nacional Beit Guvrin. Mágico lugar donde late el corazón de la obra,
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La Compañía de Danza Vértigo presenta “Liba”, una exhibición de videoarte creada especialmente para los espacios inusuales de la Cueva de la Campana en el Parque Nacional Beit Guvrin-Maresha, que originalmente ha sido tallada por los antiguos habitantes de la zona.

La exposición y el sitio especifico donde se mostrará se conectan con el movimiento de la coreógrafa de la compañía, Noa Wertheim,  que es también su directora artística y que declara su profunda conexión con la naturaleza y con el medio ambiente, hecho que ya el público de todo el mundo había captado en sus trabajos de danza. “En el núcleo de la cueva es posible escuchar el corazón, el latido de la tierra, y en este mágico lugar late la obra “Liba”. La entrada a la exposición está incluida en la tarifa de entrada al sitio. Se puede visitar a partir del 5.8 hasta octubre 2021. Con previo registro en:

La comisaria de la exposición es Dorit Talpaz, quien nos explica que la conexión entre la cueva y la danza crea una nueva obra que se entrelaza con el movimiento del espectador tan pronto como ingresa a la exposición: “Una creación de danza multidimensional que envuelve al espectador por todos lados a través de enormes salientes en las paredes y rincones ocultos y que en su movimiento expande los límites de la cueva y regresa al mismo útero natural primario a partir del cual se formó”. “La muestra ´Liba´ creada a partir de las obras de Noa Wertheim para la compañía de danzas Vértigo es un entretejido de poéticas obras de videoarte, bailando en un punto de unión entre el viento y la materia: el cuerpo de los bailarines proyectado en las paredes de la cueva”

El Parque Nacional Beit Guvrin-Maresha es el centro de la zona conocido como “Tierra de las Mil Cuevas”. Un parque que muestra una antigua maravilla arquitectónica: innumerables espacios, cuevas naturales y cuevas artificiales diseñadas para una amplia gama de usos, desde la cría de palomas, pasando por el almacenamiento y la residencia hasta el entierro. En 1989 el área fue declarada parque nacional con el fin de preservar los impresionantes restos de la ciudad de Maresha y la preservación del bosque natural. Gracias a su rico patrimonio y muchas cuevas, el Parque Nacional ha sido declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO. Este parque se incluyó en la prestigiosa lista mundial de los sitios seleccionados y más importantes del mundo, lo cual posiciona a Israel como un puente entre culturas antiguas y centro importante para la conservación del patrimonio mundial, al tiempo que conecta el pasado con el presente.

Los espacios inusuales de las cuevas en forma de campanas, excavadas por los antiguos habitantes de la zona, se convierten en un museo espectacular y único a partir de agosto y se recomienda visitar al anochecer y por la noche, entre las 18.30 y las 22.00hs. Las obras de videoarte fueron creadas por el fotógrafo Elad Debbie y el editor Gal Katzir e incluyen extractos del trabajo de la banda a lo largo de los años, que incluyen: “Pardés” (Orchard), “Leela” “Yama” y “El Nacimiento del Phoenix”.

“Noa Wertheim’s smaller dance transitions are an improvement “- Ora Brafman

Pardes enjoys smooth transitions between rather short sections; a change between mellow moods to more intense ones, group sections replacing short duets, in a pleasing flow.

‘VERTIGO’ (photo credit: ELAD DEBI)
(photo credit: ELAD DEBI)
Vertigo artistic director Noa Wertheim has 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 that perfectly fit contemporary dance genera and her own sensitivity.
With the years, Wertheim has succeeded to solidify a rather consistent artistic voice that borders on New-Age perceptions that 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 used the title Pardes and its various cultural ties – among them the Kabbalah but mostly to the word’s origin in ancient Persia language – which supported the dance’s mystical rites accentuated with its tribal-like costumes. All six dancers perform while wearing black skirts, an attire that has always worked in any dance that wanted to add a tribal aroma of yesteryear, borrowed from unspecific cultures or folkloric sources. They also work in bits from Sufi rites and Eastern European folk dance, like barrel jumps, which fit in quite effectively.
Just to make sure that the point was clear, Doari later added more specific Oriental musical flavors, and Wertheim added more gyrating pelvises.
Pardes enjoys 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, depicting an abused girl by her duet partner. That initiated a prolonged scene which brought to mind the long dying scene of the betrayed Giselle, without her finesse.
Pardes proved to be a finely crafted work by Wertheim that was filled with pleasant scenes, particularly some duets and a few solos. It seemed to cater to larger audiences without risking stepping out of the choreographer’s safe zones, or daring to challenge her audiences and herself.
Those six dancers on Suzanne Dellal’s stage, confounded by opaque red panels, worked well as an intimate ensemble with well-polished dancers, and each one of them was noticed.

Dance isn’t simple to show online, but Vertigo troupe tries it. By Jessica Steinberg

Short snippets of performances and virtual workshops are part of viewing experience as veteran dance group navigates the pandemic

During the months of the pandemic, the Vertigo Dance Company has performed online, at a drive-in event in a Jerusalem parking lot, and in small, outdoor workshops at its eco-art village in the Ella Valley.

Now it has returned online for the Vertigo Dance Festival, starting Sunday, December 27 through December 31, with a brand-new website meant to ease viewing for all audiences.

Dance isn’t so simple to show online, said Noa Wertheim, who co-founded Vertigo with her work and life partner, Adi Sha’al, and it required a different approach in order to fully introduce the Vertigo experience.

“We’re showing shorter pieces and snippets online, allowing you to really jump around the website and get to know the troupe better,” said Wertheim. “You can really dive into the website, and get to know Vertigo.”

They’ve made other adjustments to the website as well, with some excerpts of workshops during the festival, a clip of Wertheim’s TEDx talk, a look at recent dance premieres, and a random navigator on the site that brings viewers to various spots in the website.

“It’s dynamic and educational and really amazing,” said Wertheim.

The Vertigo troupe has been able to continue functioning for the most part, said Wertheim, because many of their members live and work at the troupe’s eco-art village.

During the months of the pandemic, they continued premiering new works, sometimes on Zoom, at other times performing live with other online festivals. They even taught a workshop for an event in India.

“We’re a capsule,” said Wertheim, using the Israeli term for a small pod of people. “We did what we could during the summer, but artists have become a group that aren’t allowed to work. It’s like an effort to wipe us away, but I have hope.”

קונטקט אימפרוביזציה

השנה יהיו שעורים פתוחים לחודש וחצי ולאחריהם קבוצה סגורה לשלושה מהלכים לאורך השנה, אליה אפשר להצטרף בין מהלך למהלך. (הפרטים בפלייר). הקבוצה מאפשרת לעבור תהליך למידה והתפתחות עקבי, רציף, ומשמעותי, עם חברת רוקדים קבועה שמאפשרת אמון ואינטימיות גדולים יותר.

*יהיה גם אנדרסקור חודשי בכל חודש

*ומרכז העיבוד , ההכללה, ההרחבה, ההפשטה של הכל – הג’אמים. השנה גם יהיו ג’אמים בשבת השניה והרביעית – כשגם אני גם מיכל וגם רם נחזיק את החלל, נחמם נתמוך ונהווה. הג’אם הוא מרחב יחודי, מיוחד ויוצא דופן בכל ההקשר של החיים שלנו – הוא מרחב בו יש אחריות וחופש אישי לחקור, ללמוד, לתרגל ולהתפתח.

הם התפתחו כדי לייצר קרקע לחדשים בדבר ללמוד ולקבל ידע גוף דרך הגוף ממי שכבר בתוך זה זמן מה. להעביר את זה הלאה באופן  בלתי אמצעי של ממש. דרך, הגוף, העיניים השמיעה, החושים כולם. בשהייה במרחב או בריקוד.

יש לי דמיון שנגיע יותר לג’אמים. כולם, מכל צורות הנסיון והוותק בתרגול הזה.

אז ככל שתבואו יותר, יהיה יותר טוב.

*ובהזדמנות הזאת אני רוצה להודות לורטיגו שמאפשרים את המרחב לג’אמים ותומכים בקיום של הקהילה והריקוד.