ALL THE BUZZ ABOUT ‘NOISE’. Helen Kaye
White noise is the roar of urban sound around us to which we usually pay no attention, until one or more components of it compel our reluctant, or perhaps avid, notice. The Vertigo dance company has its own interpretation of the term, depicted in its newest work, aptly titled White Noise. The dance had a preview performance at the recent International Women’s Festival in Holon and will have its official premiere at Jerusalem’s Gerard Behar Hall on March 27. According to choreographer Noa Wertheim, it’s about the “clash between inner calm plus the body’s total dedication to the forces of gravity and the racket that surrounds us… plus the ‘buzz’ within ourselves.” What she means by this seeming non-sequitur is that “gravity is part of the natural world from which we come, and that nurtures us, as opposed to the consumerist world that surrounds us and batters us with its demands (the buzz).” Part of the White Noise performance experience is a pre-show swap-meet. Audience members are invited to bring an exchangeable item with the idea that one person’s castoff is another’s treasure. How does this tie in with the dance piece? Consumerism, says Wertheim, is all about taking and getting. The swap, which was a huge success at Holon, is about giving, and of course, recycling. The dance together with the swap present the thesis that because we’re a part of nature, we must give, not just exploit endlessly. For Vertigo, this includes giving to the community. This is not Vertigo’s first ecology or community-minded piece. There was Birth of the Phoenix some four years ago that took place in an earth-packed tent, and The Power of Balance in which Vertigo dancers shared the stage with those in wheelchairs and on crutches. Vertigo’s involvement with environmental issues “was a natural outgrowth of our work with various groups of people,” says Wertheim, adding that it was environmentalist Amos Temple “who sowed the seed of eco-awareness.” Now there’s Vertigo in the Village, an environmentally-friendly, solar energy, adobe construction that serves as an ecological dance center. Established at Kibbutz Netiv Halamedheh in the Ela Valley to hold classes, workshops, performances and more, the aim of the Village is “eco-art outreach”. Wertheim, her three sisters and all their families have even moved to the kibbutz. Wertheim’s family includes husband Adi Shaal and their three sons, aged nine, five and three Today Shaal is Vertigo’s manager, and leaves the choreography to Wertheim, but when they started both as a couple and professional dancers back in 1992, they choreographed together. Vertigo, a dance about all kinds of dizziness, was their first piece, so when they established their, they gave it the same name.