Pause: The Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group
Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen
Curatorial Assistant: Nikolas Brummer
The Chamber Dance Group—originally named ‘The Chamber Dance Quartet’—was founded by Noa Eshkol (b. 1924, PS, d. 2007, IL) in 1954 for performing her compositions, developed through Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation (EWMN). Eshkol danced with the group until the late 1950s, when she became increasingly focused on developing EWMN, composing, and teaching her dances. After she died in 2007, the group was refounded as ‘The Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group’, featuring veteran dancer, Rachaeli Nul Kahana, as well as the new members, Mor Bashan, Noga Goral, and Dror Shoval, who have joined the group since.
Dance performances by The Chamber Dance Group are made up of the basic material of all dance styles, namely, the movement of the human body. For Eshkol, dance was a pure art form, in and for itself, to be practiced without scenery, costumes, or music. She treated the parts of the human body as separate instruments, not unlike the musical instruments of an orchestra, each with its own rules of movement. Her compositions rely on seriality as well as on the polyphonic forms of canon, fugue, and so on. She used these forms to create polyphony between various parts of each dancer’s body and between the dancers as a group. Her profound understanding of the body, commitment to the compositional method, and inexhaustible creativity resulted in unique, complex, and dazzling masterpieces.