Looking for a unique theater performance that combines dance and sports? Check out Invisi’BALL, a theater-dance satire about soccer by Israei choreographer Nadine Bommer and performed by the Nadine Animato Theater Dance Company. The show’s New York premiere is June 24-26 at 501 Union, on Union Street between Bond and Nevins Streets.
We were able to talk to choreographer and director Nadine Bommer about her background and about the unique style of the show.
First of all, tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in NYC, moved to Israel at a young age, and have spent my life there becoming the artist that I am today. I am a choreographer/director, a teacher, and most importantly a wife and a mother. I established a dance academy and a dance company based on my method, ‘Animato’. My work is supported by the Israeli government.
Tell us about the show.
The show is called “Invisiball”. It is about soccer. The title comes from the fact that there is no ball ever seen during the game. Even though the audience never sees a physical ball, the players are constantly in motion trying to capture it and to win the game. The characters are animated and brought to life by the dancers in such a way that the audience never really sees them as the women that they are until after the show and then… it’s alway a huge shock to see the transformation.
I developed Invisiball with an eye for many different perspectives of the soccer game: that of a tv camera with slow motion, fast forward, rewinding, and repeats of play-by-plays; shifting roles for the dancers where they are the players, the fans, simulations of an animated foos-ball game; it’s a fully immersive theatrical dance experience where everyone comes away with the feeling of having been a part of an actual soccer game.
Why did you decide to portray soccer/football?
I am interested in all sorts of human behaviour. Though I have never played soccer I can remember walking my dog through the streets of my hometown in Israel and hearing the crazy cheers of all the men whenever someone scored a goal. That’s what made it interesting for me to explore: the energy, behavior, and excitement for this sport. For the Israeli man, soccer is a life or death ritual just like for Americans and their football. Even though I cannot personally understand the game, I can understand the passion that goes into the game. For me, Invisiball is about me, women, and this sport.
What do you hope audiences take from the performance?
I want them to feel the life energy that we have worked very hard to put into these characters and the very feeling special feeling of being in this game. And to think about sports, men, and women — how they relate to each other and the passion of this game. For some people it is just a game, for others it is much more than that.
Is there anything about the show you think will surprise audiences?
The main surprise is that 10 delicate female dancers can portray such powerful men: their point of views, their wild behaviour, and their out of control energy.
What do you feel is unique about this show?
The movement is very unique — even though it is incredibly intense, people tell me that they come away feeling like they are floating. For sure it is unlike anything that people have seen before. It’s a new approach to movement. I use focused kinetic energy to create my own movement and am inspired by animation to create characters in comic situations. I call this ‘Animato’: situations and characters brought to life, down to the most subtle detail through movement alone.
Is there any reason you decided to have the New York premiere of the show in Brooklyn?
A dancer (Tamar) from my first Israeli company lives in Brooklyn now with her husband Akiva. They have a performance space called The Green Building which hosts performances and dance companies. Tamar invited me to come with my company and to share my technique and choreography. This experience evolved into a full on American-Israeli cultural exchange which I am very proud to be a part of. We will be performing at 501 Union which is part of the production company that is hosting us and I think it is very cool to be here because Brooklyn is the home of the ‘new’ and creative New York.
Anything else you’d like readers to know about the show?
It’s unique, fun, interesting… come experience the show.
If you are interested in checking this unique show out, tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.