Dancing in the army
Israeli choreographer Inbal Pinto (Naharia, 1969) grew up in Tel Aviv and started taking dance lessons at the age of thirteen. She initially studied graphic design at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, but during her time in the army she switched to dance: it was while in the army that she created her first choreography, Dov Hoz. This work attracted the attention of Israel’s most famous choreography, Ohad Naharin, and after her military service, at his invitation, Pinto danced first with the Batsheva Ensemble and then with the Batsheva Dance Company.
Flying while sitting on your chair
Together with her former partner Avshalom Pollak, Pinto led one of the most successful modern dance groups in Israel for over fifteen years. Their productions exist on the boundaries of dance, mime, theatre, cabaret, circus acrobatics, fairy tales and vaudeville, and are often praised for their surreal character and absurd humour. Their work regularly contains references to the political situation in Israel, even though the duo doesn’t intentionally aim in this direction. “We even try to avoid it, but daily reality is simply in us and it trickles through into everything we do.” One striking example of this is What Good Would The Moon Be, which had its Dutch premiere in the 2015/2016 season. The choreography may refer to the Israel-Palestine conflict – or more specifically to the ‘separating wall’ along the West Bank of the Jordan, which they view as contemptible – but certainly not in a ‘heavy’ manner. Inspired by the way their son Louie plays with cardboard boxes, the duo takes the audience on an amazing journey featuring lots of attractive dance which also has elements of slapstick. As one reviewer wrote, the work lets you “fly while sitting on your chair.”
Just as with the majority of their productions, Pinto and Pollak also designed the costumes and decor for What Good Would The Moon Be.
In 1993 Pinto set up the Inbal Pinto Dance Company. Her first work for this group, Dio-Can, won second prize at the Shades of Dance Competition and led to a European tour. In 1997 Pinto created the hugely successful choreography Wrapped, for which she received a prestigious American Bessie Award.
Choreographies by Inbal Pinto in the repertoire of Introdans:
Wrapped (2005 duet, 2008 extended version, 2021 integral version), What Good Would The Moon Be (2016), Rushes (2018).