Israeli-born choreographer Sharon Eyal: 'I never work with mirrors, it all comes from inside'
The former Batsheva dancer discusses moving to Nederlands Dans Theater 2
Like most dance studios, the walls at Nederlands Dans Theater are lined with mirrors, throwing back the reflection of dancers who spend hours perfecting a move that will last mere seconds. But walking into the company’s headquarters in the Hague to create new work Sara, Israeli-born choreographer Sharon Eyal had other ideas.
‘I didn’t say anything, I just covered them up,’ explains Eyal. ‘Because I never work with mirrors, it all comes from inside. The mirror is something which I feel is a lie, when you are such a judgemental person and you want to look good. My work is about feeling something.’ Eyal’s approach to creating is heavily influenced by the company she spent almost 20 years dancing with: Batsheva. Calling her time at the Tel Aviv company ‘amazing’, Eyal was also given ‘the freedom to be myself, and go my own way’. Which she duly did.
Teaming up with her partner (on-stage and off), Gai Behar, the duo has built up a reputation for creating emotionally-driven dance, including the dream-like Sara, which will sit alongside works by Lightfoot/Leon and Johan Inger on NDT2’s upcoming Edinburgh dates. Behar’s background on the underground live music and rave scene complements Eyal’s experience of the dance world. ‘We have different points of view, and Gai is a real artist,’ says Eyal. ‘He’s not a dancer, so the movement comes from me; but after that, there are so many layers of composition and aesthetic with large and small details. We do everything together.’
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Thu 29 & Fri 30 May.