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january 2018 | Volume 163


Chutzpah! Festival 2018

Lisa Nemetz International Jewish Performing Arts Festival
February 15 - March 15, 2018
Performances at the Norman Rothstein Theatre and the Scotiabank Dance Centre
www.chutzpahfestival.com or 604-257-5145

EZRALOW DANCE (USA) February 15, 16, 17, Norman Rothstein Theatre
ROY ASSAF DANCE (Israel) February 22, 23, 24, Norman Rothstein Theatre
MM CONTEMPORARY DANCE (Italy) March 1, 2, 3, Norman Rothstein Theatre
MULTI-DISCIPLINARY SALOMÉ: WOMAN OF VALOR (USA/Canada) March 8, 9, 10, Scotiabank Dance Centre
DANCE DOUBLE-BILL – International Cultural Exchange DERIDA COMPANY (Bulgaria) and MACHOL SHALEM DANCE HOUSE (Israel) March 10 & 11, Norman Rothstein Theatre

An eagerly anticipated highlight of the Lower Mainland’s dance season is the Chutzpah! Festival’s Dance Series. Chutzpah!  2018 presents five extraordinary dance productions from Canada, USA, Israel, Bulgaria and Italy including one multi-disciplinary cutting-edge show and one International cultural exchange in a special Dance Double-Bill. This year’s performances again offer high calibre, challenging and gorgeous dance delivering innovative and spell-binding work featuring World Premieres, North American, and Western Canadian debuts from some of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers in the world.

Festival Artistic & Managing Director Mary-Louise Albert says, “This year Chutzpah! features dance artists in performances that demand to be seen for the raw physicality of the performers and the thrilling, original choreography.

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  Eralow Dance. Photo credit: Paolo Laudicina_Ezralow.

Canadian Premiere

“Ezralow’s dancers are art-letes…” – Los Angeles Times

“Daniel Ezralow is a dancer and choreographer whose work is a persuasive blend of intelligence, humor, and a fine-scaled, gutsy energy” – New York Times

“spellbinding ... a brilliant coup-de-theater ... there’s no way you can resist ... a choreographic synthesis of the creativity and freedom of modern dance” – Corriere Ardiatico/OPEN

Award-winning choreographer/director/multi-media artist Daniel Ezralow’s unique style of physical expression and articulate choreography has earned him a distinguished reputation as a groundbreaking artist worldwide. His work is celebrated in Julie Taymor’s film Across the Universe, Cirque du Soleil’s Love, and in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. A founder of the famous MOMIX he has created choreographies for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Batsheva, Paris Opera Ballet, Rudolf Nureyev, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Atlanta Ballet, la Fête de l‘Humanité in Paris, among others as well as choreographed music videos and toured with Sting, U2, David Bowie, Pat Metheny, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Faith Hill.

In the Canadian Premiere of OPEN, Ezralow mingles contemporary dance with playful humour, provocative ideas, striking visuals, and an unforgettable classical score.


Performance Details:
February 15 @ 8pm
February 16 @ 8pm
February 17 @ 2pm
February 17 @ 8pm
Norman Rothstein Theatre
950 West 41st Ave.
Tickets: Adult $29.50, Senior $26.00 Student $24.00 (+GST & service charges)
(show included in ChutziPack and 5-Show Dance Pack)

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  Photo credit: Roy Asaff Dance Six Years Later. Photo: Costin Radu.

Six Years Later and The Hill
Western Canadian Premiere

“his powerful performance brought the audience to their feet for the long and rare standing ovation of the year...” – Jerusalem Post

“…excellent dancers with fine technical abilities and their technique can be described as soft virtuosity” - HARRETZ

Israeli company Roy Assaf Dance makes its Chutzpah! debut with a program of critically-acclaimed works which fill the stage with a magical charm. A rising star, Assaf is praised for his intricate and thoughtful choreography. Roy Assaf’s quiet, embracing duet Six Years Later opens the program, and displays unparalleled intimacy between two people, sharing equal amounts of fortitude and vulnerability. Praised for its “beauty, nuances, and intricate, astute movements” (Jerusalem Post), this piece demonstrates exceptional kinetic synergy, as if two bodies were sharing one mind. Assaf’s award-winning second work The Hill features a powerful all-male trio, inspired by veterans’ experiences and based on the Hebrew song Givat Hatachmoshet.

One of the most sought-after emerging choreographic voices today, Israel-based Assaf has received commissions from companies across the globe, including Batsheva Dance Company, The Royal Swedish Ballet, National Dance Company Wales, and LA Dance Project and his company has toured the USA, Canada and Europe.


Performance Details:
February 22 @ 8pm
February 23 @ 8pm
February 24 @ 8pm
Norman Rothstein Theatre
950 West 41st Ave.
Tickets: Adult $29.50, Senior $26.00, Student $24.00 (+GST & service charges)
(show included in ChutziPack and 5-Show Dance Pack)

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  Photo credit: MM Contemporary Dance Company. Photo by Stefano Corrias.

Bolero and The Rite of Spring
North American Premiere

“impressive work with amazing performers” – Dance Hall News

MM Contemporary Dance Company is based in Reggio Emilia, Italy and performs throughout Europe, Asia and South America. Directed by award-winning choreographer Michele Merola, a former dancer with the Toulon Opera House, Aterballetto and Arena di Verona companies, MM Contemporary Dance is made up of exquisite and versatile classically-trained contemporary dancers. In addition to choreographing for his own company, Merola has created works for dance companies such as Aterballetto, Balletto di Toscana, Teatro Terazijama, Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre and Teatro Massimo, among others.

Coming to the Chutzpah! stage will be inventive and provocative choreographies of two twentieth century universally-known musical scores – Maurice Ravel’s Bolero (with integrated contemporary composition from Stefano Corrias) choreographed by Michele Merola and Igor Stravinski’s The Rite of Spring choreographed by Enrico Morelli.

Presented with il Centro-the Italian Cultural Centre

Performance Details:
March 1 @ 8pm
March 2 @ 8pm
March 3 @ 8pm
Norman Rothstein Theatre
950 West 41st Ave.
Tickets: Adult $29.50, Senior $26.00 Student $24.00 (+GST & service charges)
(show included in ChutziPack and 5-Show Dance Pack)

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  Photo credit: Frank London by Adrian Buckmaster.

World Premiere

Innovative, transformative and daring, Salomé: Woman of Valoris the culmination of years of work by Grammy Award-winning composer/trumpeter Frank London and celebrated poet/performer Adeena Karasick. Salomé: Woman of Valor is a massive total art experience; a spoken word opera, groundbreaking in its interplay of poetry, music, video and dance.

This powerful work of new Jewish art re-inserts Salomé back into her rightful place in history as a powerful revolutionary matriarch. Salomé: Woman of Valor translates the renowned myth to one of female empowerment, socio-politic, erotic and aesthetic transgression; and presents a new take on the Biblical story of Salomé, refuting Oscar Wilde’s misogynist and anti-Semitic interpretation.

Live music performed by Frank London, Indian percussionist Deep Singh and Middle Eastern keyboard player Shai Bachar; poetry and text / written and performed by Adeena Karasick; choreographed and performed by New York-based dancers Rebecca Margolick and Jessie Zaritt and video by Elizabeth Mak that deconstructs Charles Bryant’s 1923 silent film, Salomé, and directed by Alex Aron (co-creator of A Night in the Old Marketplace).

In association with The Dance Centre

Performance Details:
March 8 @ 8pm
March 9 @ 8pm
March 10 @ 2pm
March 10 @ 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre
677 Davie Street
Tickets: Adult $29.50, Senior $26.00, Student $24.00 (+GST & service charges)
(show included in ChutziPack and 5-Show Dance Pack)

DANCE DOUBLE-BILL (Bulgaria/Israel)
DERIDA COMPANY  -  F 63.9 (Bulgaria)
MACHOL SHALEM DANCE HOUSE  -  Black Label (Israel)
North American Premiere
A Chutzpah! International Cultural Exchange

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  Photo credit: DERIDA COMPANY (Bulgaria).

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  Photo credit: Machol Shalem Dance House Black Label. Photo by Ido Cohen.


F 63.9, choreographed by award-winning Jivko Jeliazkov (co-director of Derida Company in Sofia Bulgaria), is a duet exploring when love is not an infatuation, but a problem that requires a solution. ‘Love is an official disease’ – according to the World Health Organization – “F63.9” is a classification number given to a disorder of adult personality and behaviour. This dynamic piece examines the desolations and transformations caused by what we have known commonly as ‘falling in love’! F 63.9 was selected as one of the Top 20 performances in Europe from the only European platform for Contemporary Dance – Aerowaves.

Based in Sofia, Bulgaria, Derida Dance Center (home of the company) is the first centre for contemporary dance and training in Bulgaria and engages in cross-cultural interactions between Bulgarian artists and their counterparts in Europe and Asia.

Black Label, choreographed by Jerusalem-based Machol Shalem Dance House Artistic Director Ofra Idel and co-created and performed by Tzvika Iskias, is a journey told through the eyes of Ethiopian-Israeli Iskias, an outstanding dancer, formerly with Batsheva. Through his story as an Ethiopian immigrant, we experience the reality of present-day Israel. Black Label invites the viewer to partake in an uncommon experience – to observe his/her own life through another.

Based in Jerusalem, Israel, core issues that stand at the heart of Machol Shalem Dance House are current social concerns, dealing with the complexities that emerge from the encounter that takes place between the various populations co-existing in Israel.


Performance Details:
March 10 @ 2pm
March 10 @ 8pm
March 11 @ 2pm
Norman Rothstein Theatre
950 West 41st Ave.
Tickets: Adult $29.50, Senior $26.00 Student $24.00 (+GST & service charges)
 (show included in ChutziPack and 5-Show Dance Pack)


Single tickets for Chutzpah! are $24 to $55 (+ gst/sc) and can be purchased online at chutzpahfestival.com, by phone at 604-257-5145 or in-person starting January 15th at the on-site Chutzpah! Box Office at the Jewish Community Centre, 950 West 41st Avenue, just 2 blocks west of the Oakridge Skytrain Station.  Chutzi Packs are also available for only $98: see 4 different shows of your choice (excluding Idan Raichel’s Piano-Songs Concert & Mary Walsh) and back this year is a special 5-Show Dance Pack for only $120.

*Please note: during the Festival, the onsite Chutzpah! Box Office is open from 12 noon to one hour after the last show on all show days.


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