Interview with Itzik Galili
The Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili is one of the most well-known
in Europe. His passion for contemporary dance has taken him to Cuba,
one of the islands in the Caribbean with much tradition in this genre, where he has created several
choreographies along with the dance company Danza Contemporánea de Cuba (DCC).
Itzik’s most recent choreography, Sombrisa, is a sort of dance
show-sports-musical interpretation by the dancers from DCC. The
premier was held in Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne, May 3rd. The tour will continue around the UK until June 9th. Steve Reich composed the musical score that accompanies the choreography (Drumming Part 1).
Itzik blessed Vamos Cuba with an interview on the island when he was in the process of finalizing the details of the choreography.
What inspired the choreography for Sombrisa?
I borrowed it from a French play that uses lots of poetic terms. I found
them very beautiful and could relate to a young boxer character that was
training himself against shadows, which is of course absurd. You cannot
win over your shadow. It is something you can’t erase. If there is sun,
light, the shadow will always follow you. This idea brings a smile to my
face. The combination of the smile and the shadow inspired me to combine the words in Spanish: Sombrisa.
Why do you prefer the shadows?
It’s not about preference. The combination is something that I like.
Why did you select Cuba? Why Danza Contemporánea de Cuba?
I was commissioned by Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal in Newcastle to
do this job with DCC.
What do you think about the preparation of the dancers from DCC?
One word: perfect.
And what about their style?
Again one word: perfect. So now you have 2 words: perfect, perfect.
Why did you choose boxing as part of the theme for Sombrisa?
It was appropriate because this choreography is part of the Olympic Games 2012
Cultural Festival, which lasts the whole year, and the world champion in
boxing, can’t remember his name, initiated this project because Newcastle has the best boxing gloves in England, which is in some way the pride of the country. Glen, Sadler’s
Wells theatre, Theatre Royal Newcastle…they all thought I would be the
perfect one to choreograph a piece for it.
What is the message of the choreography?
Look, I can look in a woman’s eyes and I can tell her I love her and she
can think, “Oh, that’s nice. He is nice person.” Or she can say, “He loves
me?? But he doesn’t know me!” Now, when you ask me about the title, it
means something to me but for you it means something else when you see
the piece. I think the beautiful thing about dance is that it’s your
own journey, like a book. When you read a book, you will interpret it
in your own way. The story behind a dance piece will always have more then two
How did you like working with DCC?
I loved it. They are beautiful, articulate, flexible, and somewhat spoiled. They
can think fast and slow. If you don’t put them on the right track,
they will run away with, but it will still be beautiful.