MAKOM trancends

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Vertigo Dance Company members in "MAKOM"--a Celebrity Series offering to be staged at Shubert Theatre. Photo courtesy of Vertigo Dance Company.
Vertigo Dance Company members in "MAKOM"--a Celebrity Series offering to be staged at Shubert Theatre. Photo courtesy of Vertigo Dance Company.

MAKOM, Vertigo Dance Company, presented by Celebrity Series of Boston at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Boston, April 5 and 6. Exploring the Creative Process, a lecture/demo hosted by Boston's Center for Jewish Culture at Vilna Shul, Boston, April 4.;

Two years ago Noa Wertheim was researching polarities. "We all have them,'' the co-founder and artistic director of Vertigo Dance Company recently told the South End News. One essential way of dealing with polarities, she offered, is to find the "centerline of the deep place within us and connect." Now dancers from her acclaimed Israeli troupe (founded in 1992 by Wertheim and husband Adi Sha'al)—at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre in its first Celebrity Series of Boston appearance since 2016—are exploring that line and path to connection in a polarity-transcending 2022 work choreographed by Noa and sister Rina Wertheim-Koren entitled "MAKOM"—Hebrew for 'place.'

For Jerusalem-based Vertigo Dance, this evening-length exploration contains "spiritual things." Observing that "We have the space and time," Noa revealed that "We created many places in the piece." That creation involves quality-centered Tselem—Hebrew for 'image'—and Tavnit— Hebrew for 'form.' That form entails the employment of an arc-like wood structure by Zohar Shoef. Dancers in Dani Fishof-Magenta's minimal lighting will move around and under that construct in neutral-hued costumes designed by Sasson Kedem. "Everything is ecological," Noa stressed. To that end, branch-like props will create such key objects as platforms, ladders and a bridge.

''It's a bridge they (the dancers) are building through the show," Noa explained. Sometimes there will be a circle representing community. "We have to support each other and be together. We should be one," she continued. ''The circle can be like a folk dance," she added. At other moments, dance movement will suggest a Shevil—Hebrew for 'path.' That path may connect with the creation of "a bridge connecting between two different peoples." Some moves will connect "male and female, sun and moon and light and darkness." To that end, a sequence in which two male dancers lift a female one may signify a triumph over the harm of polarities.

"MAKOM" features Vertigo dancers Etai Peri. Sian Olles, Eden Ben Shimol, Micah Aimos, Ruth Ben David, Ilan Kolubovich, Shani Licht, Noa Israeli and Theo Samsworth. Ran Bagno provides original music. (American-born and Netanya,Israel-raised Noa,who studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, met her dancer husband at another Jerusalem troupe Tamar). Vertigo Dance, renowned for innovative choreography and technical precision, has committed itself to environmental sustainability. The company practices what it preaches. Adobe is used at the building, water is collected from the roof, and there is no plastic at its Jerusalem Vertigo Eco Art Village in the Ella Valley . "We are like a family," Wertheim concluded.