Folk dance emerges from the depths of our cultural tradition. The experience of celebrating our identity by moving together has connected cultures for many thousands of years. Lior Tavori’s roots as a choreographer lie in the Israeli folk dance tradition: “We dance in circle form. You put aside your own individual identity for the cohesion of the group. There is one truth and it’s a shared communal experience. The roles of men and women are defined: Man works the ground and the women jump like deer in a field.”
Coming to contemporary dance later in life, there was a time when Tavori was ashamed to share his folk background amongst colleagues in the contemporary field. He carried the all too familiar burden of thinking he would not be taken seriously. Nowadays his choreographic practice fuses these artistic disciplines together. The freedom of artistic exploration that contemporary dance allows drives his continual distillation of form through the posing of questions: “In contemporary dance you can do what you want. You can show your pain. You can make a love duet between two men. I like to do the things that are not ‘allowed’.”
For his upcoming creation for the Bavarian Junior Ballet Munich, Tavori returns to his influences as an Israeli folk dancer in an exploration of the tensions that exist between these two dance practices. Composer Itamar Gross will compose a new score for a work that upholds the traditions of folk dance, while also consciously breaking the rules in the ‘tradition’ of contemporary dance creation.
ABOUT LIOR TAVORI
The artistic director of Lior Dance Company Israel, Tavori holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a master’s degree in dance from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He has created works for dance companies in China, Portugal and Israel that have been performed on stages in Italy, Spain, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Georgia and Taiwan, among others. Alongside his new work for the company, later this season Tavori will create a work for the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam and his piece «8th day» will premiere as part of the Tel Aviv Dance Festival 2022.
First premiered on 27 November 2022 as part of a matinée by the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung at the Nationaltheater Munich
Ahead of his new creation for the Autumn Matinees 2022, choreographer Lior Tavori spoke with Terence Kohler about his roots in Israeli Folk Dance, in bringing the animal kingdom to the studio and how physicality drives an honesty in the dancing body.