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The artistic directors’ note

Kelim festival focuses this year on the theme of TERROIR, site specific choreography. In the spirit of current times, the festival this year is “the imprint of its native landscape”. It is a new map, drawn by the artists in the local landscape. It is a product of the geopolitical influences within which we act, moving together between the geographical and environmental and the political, social and gendered. Within the chaos, we try to draw an imaginary map, one that might outline a path. 


Following the events of the 7th of October and in times of war, the feeling is that it is not a time for a celebration but rather for support, assembly, comfort, and learning. It is a time to exist in a space that moves on the axis between the present, which is sometimes too hard to bear, and the future, the building of the path forward, the future which is the responsibility of us all. 


In all of this, the current festival is bare, vibrating and lingering… It introduces the audience to different phases of creation and choreographic becoming; from intimate meetings with the students of the bi-annual program for choreography, through the lectures-expositions events with the artists participating in Call to Action incubator or the premiers of the artists of the residency program. This, along with a variety of unique events oscillating between the local and connected to Bat-Yam the human-maternal-universal. In fact, the festival offers a point of gathering, fertilization and nourishment between the different communities operating in Kelim. These communities are in Kelim throughout the whole year, some stay in the space for several days a week, and their choreographic-artistic production is both shaped by the place, and shapes it back. 


When we started working on the festival, in June 2023, we chose to ask about the connection between ideas of ecology and permaculture and the field of dance. What are the existing resources? What is exposed and what is hidden? What can be done differently – in this multi-participant and multi-locused system – in a better, more nurturing and sustainable way?


As part of this vision, we founded this year, beside the residency program’s creations for the festival, also a “Route to Recovery” – a residency program without commitment to submit a final outcome at the end of the process. In a culture that promotes mostly the doing, the visibility, the product – it was important for us to create a different space, a space in which one can linger, observe, process personal changes – as the artistic art in and of itself. A space in which one can rest, recover what might have been worn out, while accepting support and connection to the creative community of Kelim and participating in a common learning process.  


On the 7th of October, all the cards were shuffled. And still, we chose to go on. We chose to continue and gather together, tighten the web of relations between us as a critical space for comfort. With the outbreak of the war, the residency’s artists were scattered in different places, and we still continued to meet via Zoom, in the studio, wherever possible. We held one another in compassion and listening. Along with the sharing of the creative process among the artists of the residency, we held a practice of shared learning: lecture-discussion led by Alma Maria Simon about the connection between permaculture and dance, a lecture by Ruti Director about ecofeminism and ecopoetics, and a gathering in Shdemama – a center for culture and ecology. Most of the meetings were open to the participation of the widespread dance community, out of a wish to create ripples to the becoming process. 


In addition, throughout the process, we were holding practice-sharing meetings, moments in which the artists shared exercises, tasks, questions and thoughts from their current artistic research process with their colleagues. For some of these meetings, we invited also the students of Kelim’s choreography program, in an act of connection between the different pieces that make up the puzzle which is Kelim center for choreography, with its wide vision of inclusivity and expansion of the field. 


In hindsight, the values we chose to focus on in June 2023 – community, mutuality, and sustainability – revealed as accurate and crucial for us to go through these times. Alongside, the war has made it clearer for us that we are in a processual-becoming, unfinished, ever changing state.


Now, after half a year of residency and communal learning, weaving a web of connections between the different communities working in Kelim, we hold the annual festival under the title: Terroir. The term Terroir refers to a complex of environmental conditions for agriculture. Through it, we observe and interrogate the environment and habitat in which we act together in the dance field in general and in Kelim in particular. What is the local landscape of each piece and each act? What are the possible “recoltes” – the various formats within which art can exist and grow – as a show, a talk, a workshop, a lecture? What are the conditions for cohabitation for those participating in the field as students and the active artists’ generation? What is the web of interdependencies between the different plants, each in a different phase of its growth? What is between learning and nurturing processes and creating and presentation processes? What are the elements creating the environment in which the artist exists? What is the artistic creation nurtured by? What is the unique landscape of the artist, and what is the map which we draw together? 


The festival this year serves as a place to meet, to experience artistic processes in different phases, bare or rather tight, liquid, outlined or sealed, asking or declaring. A place which is influenced by the unique and acute conditions of its environment. Thus, after a shared process, intricate and meaningful, Terroir – Kelim festival events 2024 – will take place during five days in Kelim center for choreography. In this framework, original works by Iris Erez, Saed Mansour, Mica Kupfer, Kai Rotschild and Shaked Mochiach will premiere. Alongside the premieres, performative meetings with the students of Kelim’s bi-annual program for choreography, which is led by Tami Leibovitch, will take place. The lectures-expositions of the artists of Call to Action program – (in collaboration with the Peis foundation, directed by Nataly Zuckerman) for professional choreographic creation incorporating people with different abilities – are interlaced between these events. Alongside all these, some special events will take place: the first is a gathering for a performative experiment in martistic knowledge led by Merav Dagan and Denielle Gallia-Kind as part of the project Motherhood Takes Place – an international project in Kelim. Secondly, the artist Aviv Horovitz, who participates in the Route to Recovery program, will share parts of a work in process combined with a lecture. In addition, we will hold the third annual national hip hop event, including freestyle and break dance competition led by Eshed Avraham (Takiri) next to the platform for short hip hop works “untamed” which is directed by Hagar Weizman. 


The audience is welcome to delve together with us to different spaces moving between art and ecology, between the political, the social and the gendered.

Artistic director of the festival: Ayala Frenkel and Uri Shafir | Artistic director 'Kelim' center: Ayala Frenkel | CEO: Morhan Bash Danon | Production and project management: Matar Pershitz | Technical production: Sav Adi | PR and social media: Doron Gallia-Kind | Manager of the 'Program for choreography': Tami Leibovitch | Manager of 'Call for Action' program: Nataly Zukerman | Technical management: Lior Levin | Artistic guidance for students׳s works: Moran Duvshany | Graphic Design: Yitzhak Yitzhaky | Lighting design: Rotem Elroy | Photography:Yair Meyuhas | Founders: Anat Danieli and Tal Gravinsky Amishai

The festival is happening with support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Festivals Section; Bat Yam Municipality and with the assistance of the Lottery Council for Art Culture.

Festival team

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