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Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company offers message of peace and harmony

The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC) had four sold-out performances at the Sydney Opera House. What a thrill to be able to attend a performance, see these remarkably talented dancers and have the opportunity to meet with some of the participants!

The audience was filled with people of all ages — families getting together, women enjoying “girls night out” and couples having date night. As in all of Australia, it was a hodgepodge of creeds and faiths. Although the KCDC is an Israeli group, its dancers are not all Jews, which further proves how cosmopolitan our tiny MidEast nation has become. The sixteen dancers come from France, Russia, Spain and the United States but live on Kibbutz Ga’aton with the Israeli artists. This gives them the opportunity to connect while performing or doing daily chores, eating meals or listening to music. The audience faced the stage mesmerized by the talent in front of it.

The choreography is so unique and spellbinding. Artistic Director Rami Be’er learned from one of the best: Yehudit Arnon, a Holocaust survivor who dedicated her life to dance and educating others. Be’er has certainly taken her sense of movement to the next level. The selections in “Horses in the Sky” show off the individual’s talents and expertise. It seems, like the Land of Israel itself, to come together with a synchronized bang.

Costumes are simplistic so that they do not detract from the message of birth and renewal, of weakness to strength. The nearly identical dress also makes a statement that we are all the same, no matter where we are born, the color of our skin or religion we practice. The main thing is to find peace and harmony so that we can glide across a floor together.

“Horses in the Sky” is a song for peace. It takes the conflict of living in Israel, of trying to make peace with our neighbors, to dancing together gracefully. Rami Be’er combines the choreography, music and dancers so that every scene screams for attention. Nonetheless, if you close your eyes, you will feel like you are dreaming. Be’er says that there is no actual story, because he wants the members of the audience to interpret their own visions. Be’er wants the music and dance of the KCDC to create dialogue and form bridges not only in Israel and the Middle East but for audiences worldwide.

Power streams from the music to the strength of each dancer to the words of “Horses in the Sky”. Ballet combined with jazz, gymnastics and talent galore. The KCDC is no second rate company from a small strip of land in the middle of the desert. This is a powerful, world-class troupe well worth seeing. The Sydney performances had several gracious sponsors including the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Sydney Opera House Board Members and individual patrons. Much thanks to everyone who made these performances possible and to those who support the KCDC year-round.

The International Dance Village at Kibbutz Ga’aton is home to the Dance Journey Program, which is sponsored by the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Interested dancers over the age of 18 can participate and perform alongside the professional troupe for either a five-month or ten-month term as well as a summer program. In fact, one former participant is a graduate of UCI who stated that the KCDC program was one of the most rewarding experiences in both her personal and professional career. Living on a kibbutz, learning Hebrew and Israeli culture, is an opportunity of a lifetime. These dance courses can earn university credit and are recognized worldwide. Plans are being made for this program to be an accredited BFA in dance course of study.

KCDC also runs several programs for teenagers. The Advanced Dance Program for exceptionally talented teens is for teens aged fifteen to eighteen. Professional Dance Workshops are an amazing opportunity for middle and high schoolers to get a better idea of what life is like for professional dancers, from learning about the extensive training to necessary nutrition in order to keep healthy as well as how to deal with injuries the KCDC experts help train the next generation of enthusiasts.

For more information about any of the dance programs email: dance@kcdc.co.il.

KCDC runs programs for at-risk youths, children from abusive homes or ones suffering from developmental delays. There is a multi-cultural program bringing Jews and Arabs together through their love of dance. Helping to sponsor any of these programs is a wonderful B’nai Mitzvah project. For more information, contact office@kcdc.co.il.

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