Spirituality and nature and a sense of joy and repose. Ruth Eshel

Noa Wertheim’s new choreography for the Vertigo Dance Company brings together spirituality and nature and creates a sense of joy and repose

Marking the 25th anniversary of the Vertigo Dance Company, Noa Wertheim’s new piece, One. One & One creates a synergy. The spiritual expression of movement, gently fluttering, seeking to fulfill a yearning that perhaps refers to her religious upbringing. While on the other hand, the connection to earth grounded in attention to nature and the natural course of life as reflected through the ecological village established by the company in Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Heh where state-of-the-art dance studios were built from unused chicken coops.

A dancer pours soil on the stage and creates tracks of straight, meticulous lines that cross it from side to side. Later, as if attempting to let go of the rules and connect art and life, the dancers enter the stage, cross it diagonally from all sides, pouring buckets of soil and turning the artificial linoleum floor into natural surroundings. A dialogue pursues as the dancers move their feet lifting dust from the surface, generating an air of a common place where individuals feel comfortable together.

The costumes, designed by Sasson Kedem, are casual yet elegant, maintaining the contour of the body without embellishment.

The body language is mainly introversive with rare attempts to stretch away from the center. The fine dancers intensify this contained movement as if exploring its limits to depict the inner beauty. The natural flow of movement is nevertheless unpredictable.

A solo by dancer Shani Licht is engraved in my memory, drawing the movement from an inner source of emotion or physical hunger and allowing it the time to gently permeate outwards. Likewise, the amazingly graceful duet by Licht and Tamar Bar Lev resembling two long stems in water that are intertwined. Among the fierce stage-crossing earth-lifting solos of each male dancer, Daniel Kosta features a noteworthy charisma.

The oriental dance is one of the highlights of this performance, seemingly quoting the twists and punctuate movements of the Dabke Arab folk dance. However, towards the finale, a new motif is added as the hands are gently lifted and lowered like wings. Like a congregation of Essenes whose white clothes have been painted in the color of the earth. The message may be that roots that go deep into the soil, allow for this transcending growth that leads to another place of spirituality and peace. This work of art embraces you, inducing a sense of joy, repose and receptivity.