The Vertigo Dance Company celebrates two decades of innovative movement. Ori Lenkinski

Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al established the Vertigo Dance Company 20 years ago,their main motivation was to create beautiful,innovativedance performances. With theirunusual movement languageand sense of other-world Whith aesthetics,the pairset out to planttheirflaginthe budding Israelidance community.At the time, theyhad no idea thattheiractions would leadto what isbecomingan internationalmovement. The company willcelebrateits20th anniversary season thisyear,beginning with the performanceof Vertigo,02 which willbe presentedintheaters around the countryinthe coming weeks. In additionto thishomage production, Vertigowillparticipate in number ofground-breaking activities at home and abroad. Vertigo20 is kind of retrospective that marks the growthand developmentof Wertheim and her artisticstaffsincethe earlydays.With each year in the troupe’slifespan Wertheim, an intensely emotional woman, unveilednew sidesof herself. Her creationsoften revealthe struggles she has endured over the pastyears,be itas wife,mother or one of four sisters. With Vertigo,02Wertheim sought to delve into her pastand to present the moments that stand out in her memory. Long-timefansof the company willsurelyrecognize segmentsor imagesfrom past productions, such as Birthofthe Phoenix,White Noiseand Mana. The performancewas createdas coproductionwith NapoliTeatro Festival Italia,where the troupewillperformin June.With cast of dancers

including internationalimports, Vertigo20 isnot only hugely celebratory performancebut alsothe largest-scale productionthe company has ever taken on. In Israel,Vertigohas become synonymous with rare kind of ecologicalawareness. From their base in the Gerard Behar Center in Jerusalem,Wertheim and Sha’al transitionedthemselves and their dancers to the rusticenvirons of Kibbutz Netiv Ha’lamed Hey. There, the company works in mud-walled studio overlookingthe surroundingfields.The dancers drink purifiedrainwater during theirlonghours in the scenic studio and excuse themselves to the confines of ecologicaltoilets. Though the members of the company continue to create dance performances,theiroutlook on the environment has become as much partof theirreputationas the shows theytour with. In the comingmonths, following the premiere performances of Vertigo,02the company will expandits activitiesto include listof projectssuch as the Power of Balance,the Masa Programand unique collaborationwith localvineyard Power of Balance invitesindividuals with disabilities to exploremovement under the guidanceof Vertigo’s staff. Duringtheirtime in the ecological village, participants are offered workshopson dance and various environmentalconcerns. In ,2102 Vertigowas awarded the prestigious Ruderman Prizein Disability forthis project, an award that isgrantedto internationalorganizationsyear. The Masa Programisthe newest of Vertigo’s endeavors. Joiningforces with Masa IsraelJourney,Vertigo offersinternationaldancers the opportunityto spendfivemonths with the company as apprentices. These dancers are invitedto all company rehearsalsand are encouragedto participate in curriculum of dance classesthat includesreleasetechnique,balletand company repertory. The firstgroup of the Masa dancers arrivedin Israel few weeks ago. And what would 20th anniversary be without littlewine? For their celebrations,Vertigohas teamed up with the EllaValleyWineryto produce fourtypesof wine. These limited editionbottleswillfeatureimages from Vertigo’s productions and willbe on saleat Vertigoperformances around the country