Dance Bridges Festival had the privilege of a special interview with renowned Israeli artist Ido Tadmor, commemorating over 30 years of an international career in dance. Although schedules were tough, he and his dance partner for ‘The Empty Room’, Mira Rubinstein were in Kolkata for 48 hours just so they could perform in Dance Bridges Festival 2017. Read the interview to know more about their experience and advice to young artists.
Dance Bridges: We are so happy to have you here with us for the second edition of Dance Bridges Festival (DBF). Could you tell us what interested you to participate in DBF?
Ido Tadmor: My partner for this piece, Mira and I were very happy to be invited for this Festival and to arrive here. For us it is very important to bring our art to all sorts of places around the world as a part of a handshake, a collaboration, dialogue, as a part of making sure that art is above politics, above society, above everything else. For us art is not only something that we like to do, it’s a way of living, it’s almost like a religion for us. We get up in the morning every day, we do our class, we do our rehearsals as a part of a message, that we both carry. It is a message of love, as I said before of dialogue, collaboration, and that’s why a festival like this is very important. It is very easy for us to take a piece to Paris or London or New York City, but we don’t often get to travel across the world to perform in such special events and I was very happy to arrive here and so is Mira.
Dance Bridges: We heard that you have a very busy schedule but you still came all the way here for 48 hours. How did you to manage to fit this in?
Ido Tadmor: With great difficulty I have to say. I have been travelling all my professional life but especially in the last three and a half, almost 4 years. I’ve basically been living from a suitcase, travelling from one place to the next, with 6-7 different collaborations and 6-7 different productions. From here we will not even be able to stay till the end of the performances. We will be leaving immediately to the airport because we are going back to Israel for 2 days and then flying to Romania for 2 days, then back for 1 day to Israel and I fly to New York, Los Angeles and go back to Poland and then again to New York and Los Angeles. So the schedule is very tight. But as I said before, a production like this is very important because it demands a lot. It takes a great deal of will to create a Festival in a city like Kolkata that is not used to performances like these. So to bring art into such a places where people are not used to seeing modern dance and modern art, for me, it’s even more important to perform there than perform it in Europe and United states. Because it is a real message, it takes a great deal of dedication and will from the producers and from the artistic directors of the Festival to create something like this and that’s why we wanted to be a part of it.
Dance Bridges: Could you tell us about your experience so far in Kolkata and at DBF? Would you come back again?
Ido Tadmor: I will start from the end. Definitely, we will come back again. For me it’s not the first time in India. It’s my 6th time in India. I’ve actually been to Mumbai and Delhi. For me Kolkata is a first time so for me it was a little bit of a shock. The mentality is completely different from ours. But I always found India to be fascinating, challenging with a special grain of magic in it I would say. I would call this the beauty of the mess. But I say it in the most positive way. It’s as if I see life as it is. It’s a like a microcosm of the entire world. And it puts my life in perspective. What’s important is I see the people here in India with such a kind and generous mentality and people are so nice, so friendly and that’s why I always enjoy coming to India tremendously. I think till now from what I can see, the Festival has been conducted in the most professional way, the theatre is beautiful, the stage is beautiful, and the stage has a wonderful energy in it. So we will definitely come back, the question is whether you are going to invite us again.
Dance Bridges: Could you share with us something about your piece ‘The Empty Room’?
Ido Tadmor: This is a piece that was actually choreographed by the two of us. But I always say that we choreographed it together because if it would have been someone else, other than Mira, it would have been a completely different piece. Because Mira and I are very very close to each other and we have a very special bond and a part of this bond is that we like to tease each other and to play games with each other and I think this came into the piece. ‘The Empty Room’ is about this couple who meet at a young age, till they age and they become old and then the man loses his wife and that’s why it’s called ‘The Empty Room’. Because when he comes back to the room, it’s empty, from her.
So we tried to stretch it from the funniest place to the saddest place. Like in life, we unfortunately all lose people we love in different ways. It is a tremendously difficult thing to go through. It is a difficult thing to go through but it is something we have to go through. This piece was performed in many many different places around the world including the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia which is one of the most amazing theatres in the world. And it’s always very interesting for us to see, we are very curious to see how the audience will respond; because it’s a very quirky strange funny piece but not everyone understands it. It’s very different from what we are used to doing. We are really classical modern dancers and this piece has a very quirky very strange atmosphere and movement, so we enjoyed the challenge.
Dance Bridges: We hear that you’re celebrating 38 years of international dance, could you tell us about your journey so far?
Ido Tadmor: Well I am very blessed in my career, blessed to be a principal dancer with some very special well- known companies and also now I’m dancing as a guest dancer with many different internationally well-known companies. It’s a life that I chose, and it’s not very easy to live on airplanes all the time and not to have, I have my own home in Israel, but to not be there all the time. But it’s a life that I chose, a life that is challenging and one I am very happy to live. So, I think for me, it was never enough to just dance. For me it was about meeting people, it was about teaching people, it was about working with collaborators and choreographing for people in different countries, actually trying to explore dance on all sides and that’s why it’s very important for me to see and get to know different mentalities. I’ve really travelled all around the world- The Far East, Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, and Africa. Really traveling and visiting many wonderful new people, new artists. I think that in general, Mira and I talk about it a lot. We feel very blessed that this is our life. It’s not very easy but that is not a complaint, just a fact. As long as we can do it, we will continue doing it.
Dance Bridges: If you could say something to inspire young dancers in this field, what would you tell them?
Ido Tadmor: WORK, WORK AND WORK. For me the most important talent one can have is the talent of work. I have seen wonderful dancers with wonderful facilities and great technique. Basically they utilize 40 or 50 per cent of their talent. And I’ve seen less talented people who had the talent of work and they utilized 100 percent of their talent. So if I could inspire someone, it’s by presenting myself as someone who loves to work. I work all the time, every day from morning to evening, sometimes till night. I think it is the work and the dedication that I put into my art that took me all over the world. So for me the most important thing is to experience, to work, to have a real deep research of what it is, and then just send it to the world.
And to close, I just want to say, in our profession we meet so many dancers, great dancers and we rarely find great partners because it’s about chemistry. It’s like in life when you fall in love with someone, it can be a good marriage or a bad marriage. We are not married but we (Mira and I) have a good marriage (as dance partners). Because our friendship really comes into rehearsals and onto stage and this is very rare. I feel very blessed that Mira is here with me to share this wonderful experience and thank you for the generosity and everything. It’s been really heart touching.
[Special thanks to Ido Tadmor and Mira Rubinstein for being us at Dance Bridges Festival 2017. The performance of ‘The Empty Room’ was made possible by the support of the Embassy of Israel (New Delhi), as a part of the celebrations of 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel.]