On Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company

January 3, 2012

I prepared to leave for Israel at the end of the summer, and I took the time to say goodbye to my friends in August. Sarah Lifson, gave me on particular piece of advice, among several:  “See Inbal Pinto. It will change your life.” Yup.

I won’t lie. At the time, I hadn’t even heard the name before.

I first previewed some of their works on YouTube, prior to coming to Israel. When I got here, we studied some of their repertory, background, and process in my lecture course, called Dance in Israel. (The course is taught by Deborah Friedes Galili, and is based on and draws from her website, Dance in Israel.) Dance Jerusalem was also able to watch the company’s new work, Bombyx Mori. Additionally, as I had mentioned before, we are learning some of the company’s repertory. It’s an ensemble portion of the 2000 Bessie Award-winning piece called Wrapped.

The work of Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak draws upon each of their backgrounds—from Inbal Pinto’s in dance performance, choreography, and visual art, and from Avshalom Pollak’s in film, television, and stage. The two jointly produce whimsical works that appeal to my personal taste in the fantastical. The feeling offered by their choreography is akin to that of the film, Amelie, or perhaps of a Cirque du Soleil production.

Each movement and gesture we learn in Wrapped has its own character, and adds to the richness of the full story. Bombyx Mori truly conjured the images of silk worms, with its usage of associative sets, props, and gesture. The work is fun to watch, more fun to do, but the most fun to try to understand, whether it’s what each tiny element in the work means, or how the collaborative duo came to produce such complex works.

My curiosity as a dance watcher, dance performer, and dance choreography has been piqued by Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak. The dynamic of their artistic collaboration and the resulting work is absolutely astounding to me. Studying the creative process of this couple, among several others in Israel, inspires me to investigate my own choreographic voice. It makes you want to get into the studio to do the research. Really. For me, that’s almost life changing.


I am elated to highlight the fact that the work of Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak also goes to Mason Gross School of the Arts this month. They start this week, actually. Enjoy the magic, friends. I sure am, on this side of the world!

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