Tom Weinberger: in Italy with a new professional dance program
NUOVA X is starting in Turin next September28/01/2022
Born in Israel in 1987, Tom Weinberger joined the Batsheva Ensemble in 2005 after graduating from the Amal School of Arts and Sciences. He continued to the Batsheva Dance Company from 2008 to 2011, where he worked with Ohad Naharin and Sharon Eyal.
In 2012, Tom began freelancing and worked with Barak Marshall, Company E in Washington DC, where he set both Naharin and Eyal’s work. Tom was a founding member of Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar’s Company, L-E-V, and danced with the Gothenburg Ballet where he performed works by Peeping Tom, Marie Chouinard, and Alex Eckman. He was also a guest artist with Michael Keegan Dolan’s Fabulous Beast Dance Theater (2013) and with the Forsythe Company (2015).
He has been teaching Gaga for the past 9 years as well as creating his own work in schools such as the Netherlands Dance Theater Summer Program (2010-2014), the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, the Taipei National University of the Arts. He began creating his own work through Batsheva Dancers Create during his time with the company and in 2014 he won the International Solo Tanz Theater Festival with his solo work.
We have been in Maastricht to review his vibrant duet Exception Occur (in D&D no. 301 e D&D INTERNATIONAL no. 28) and his choreography for NDT 2 titled The Most Fascinating Problem in the World. We now went to know him more, since he is the Artistic Director of NUOVA X, an interesting professional dance program for contemporary dancers, starting in Italy at Nuova Officina della Danza, Silvana Ranaudo’s professional dance school located in Turin.
You are the artistic director of NUOVA X, the project launched by NOD in Italy starting in September 2022. Can you briefly explain the project?
Nuova X came out of a desire to offer dancers seeking a professional career in the field to have an opportunity to work in depth with leading international contemporary choreographers. I have learned through my own experience as a dance artist, that I have been founding most growth and expansion during creation processes. That’s how and why Nuova X came to life: to provide dancers an opportunity to work with established and up and coming voices within the contemporary dance world, to allow both parities plenty of time in the studio together and to offer them tools to become a more versatile, layered collaborative dance artist, to access different choreographic worlds, practice different methodologies and to do it in depth. Which for me means TIME. And so, I tried building a program that allows exactly that. Each choreographer I invite to work with Nuova X comes for five weeks in total. This means the dancers are meeting the choreographer on a daily basis for five weeks! Which allows a layered process that invites in depth exploration, reflection, exhaustion (mentally and physically), questioning of the found, collaboration and plenty more aspects of the creative process...the opposite from a ‘hit and run’ type of set up. All the above is stage ONE of Nuova X… Silvana Ranaudo and myself already have a vision for the evolution for Nuova X but this will take a couple years.
People can enter this three-months program by audition. How are you going to schedule the teaching programme?
Since deciding to leave the Batsheva Dance Company I went into a freelance career. I have worked extensively throughout Europe and North America for over a decade. This offered me an unforeseen amount of encounters with many brilliant dance artists. This is the same international pool I draw from in order to schedule the guest choreographers for Nuova X. There are plenty of exciting artist I am in communication with at the moment to be part of Nuova X.
Does the program aim to prepare only dancers-interpreters or choreographers too?
I find it very hard to separate dancers from choreographers. For me if you are interested in the practice of creating dance, whether you are an aspiring dancer or an aspiring choreographer - you are welcome to apply. It is, however, a physical program so when applying one should expect to participate in a very physical day to day practice.
There will be a public sharing at the end of the course?
At the end of each trimester there will be informal studio showings to which the participants can invite guests - family, colleagues, future employers etc. (of course within covid pandemic restrictions can occur). However, I would like to emphasis that the program does not gear towards a final show. We are interested in the processes themselves, to offer a pocket to observe, dwell and dig into the craft. In a world that too often puts its focus on the product we would like to counter this and make room for a different approach. In that sense the studio showings are ‘just’ another opportunity to dance.
You are a Gaga certified trainer: are you going to give classes in NUOVA X?
I have been teaching Gaga as well as my own practice that evolved out of my in depth experience with Gaga and many more dance/non dance practices I encountered through the years. All of which filter into my teaching nowadays. It is most likely that I will work each trimester at some point, however the program does not lean on me teaching in it. It leans on my curatorship and mentoring. A lot of it depends on juggling my schedule with commissioned work for dance companies but of course I plan to work and mentor each trimester in one way or another.
Nuova X can be accessed by selection; applications are open until May 13th. More information on NOD website
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