Family fun when human puppets run riot on stage

By Zhang Kun in Shanghai (China Daily)

Updated: 2015-08-03

Israeli choreographer Nadine Bommer will make her debut in China on Tuesday, when her modern dance show American Cinema is staged in Shanghai.

The show, to be performed at the Shanghai Grand Theater as a highlight of the ongoing Shanghai Dance Festival, is one for the whole family, says Jin Xing, the festival's artistic director.

In 2009, Bommer founded the Nadine Animato Dance Company in Rishon LeZion, Israel.

 Family fun when human puppets run riot on stage

American Cinema, a modern dance show by Israel's Nadine Animato Dance Company, will be staged in Shanghai. Provided to China Daily

Arnon Perlman, consul general for Israel in Shanghai, says Bommer is renowned in Israel and has toured internationally in recent years.

Animato is derived from the word animation, which strongly influences Bommer's choreography.

Bommer has developed a dance language described as "kinetica", based on the sensations of kinetic energy, leading to a floating, watery and shapeless movement, which is connected with the choreographer's imaginary characters and situations.

In recent years, Bommer has integrated that and the Animato style to develop the Nadine Bommer Method, which 15 Israeli dance schools have adopted.

In American Cinema, five dancers will act as puppets watching a film. They enjoy the show so much that they begin to act it out.

"You will be able to tell what the content of the film is from their imitations," Jin says. "Nadine has trained the dancers so well that she can hardly tell them and the mannequins apart, even when she is standing within arm's reach in front of them.

"It takes long and disciplined training to achieve such precision and perfection."

The dancer-choreographer says that usually people think modern dance is for the artistic few, because for most audiences, modern dance shows tend to be abstract and hard to understand.

Family fun when human puppets run riot on stage

"This is an exception. It will be fun, perfect for the whole family to enjoy."

Jin founded the Shanghai Dance Festival in 2006. With no corporate or official sponsorship, it tries to invite the latest international modern dance projects every year.

In addition to American Cinema, the Shanghai Dance Festival this year will feature two performances of Focus on Korea on Sept 18-19. Seven groups from South Korea will present a gala of modern dance.

"China's young people have been fascinated with the pop culture of South Korea. I want to show them something different," Jin says.

(China Daily 08/03/2015 page20)

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