I have arrived in Israel for my program with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, here on Kibbutz Ga'aton in northern Israel! It's only been a few days, but I can already tell it's going to be an incredible, multi-cultural, physically intense, mentally challenging, totally unique, and illuminating experience. The main attraction of the Kibbutz is the "Dance Village," and is a beautiful mix of international cultures and languages, green fresh nature, and moving bodies and spirits.
I knew that we would be from all over the world, but until I arrived here, I didn't realize what a truly diverse group we would be, or from what drastically different backgrounds we would come from. We are from...Australia, England, France, Portugal, Hungary, Russia, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark Belgium, the Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and the United States. It's amazing hearing all of these different languages and accents, and people speaking in their third or fourth languages in order to communicate. I feel like my English, decent-but-not-fluent-Spanish, and extremely limited Hebrew are inadequate compared to some of the Europeans who are so versed in multiple languages (though I had a neat moment in the train station in Tel Aviv...The girl at the coffee shop didn't speak English, so I tried Hebrew and didn't do so well, but ordered my latte in Spanish to a man who translated it to Hebrew :-) ).
Backing it up a bit...Before I arrived at the kibbutz, I spend a few days in Tel Aviv. I was able to take Gaga class at the Susanne Dellal Center, the home of Batsheva as well as other Israeli dance companies. I went to class with my friend Eldar, who I met in Gaga class 2 1/2 years ago, so it seems like coming full circle. I'm so grateful to have started my dance journey by taking this class. I took Gaga in New York once, but for some reason, taking it here in Tel Aviv, where the whole movement began, seemed so much more of an authentic experience for me. I love the physical and emotional release it provides by allowing us to really feel pure movement with nothing else affecting or layered on top of it.
Tel Aviv is such a fantastic city as a whole. The cafes and restaurants are all so delicious ("taim maod"...I am learning), and all the food is so fresh and fantastic.
Well, enough writing for now, time to rest my tired body and mind. Check back soon for more writings from the Dance Village in the Galilee...