During this global epidemic as many of us are idle at home, we sat down with company dancer Gaëlle Van Lierde, hailing from Belgium and learn of her background and personal experience dancing in Kibbutz Contemporary Company 2 (KCDC 2) and living at our company’s home at The International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton, Israel.

Tell us a bit about your dance background and where you’re from.
I’m Gaëlle, and I’m from Belgium. I grew up in a very artistic environment. My grandfather was an oil painter and architect and my grandmother was a fashion designer and pattern maker. My mom was always encouraging me to express myself in the arts. At very young age she took me to ballet classes, and at 6 years old I performed my first show Le Carnaval des animaux. It was love at first sight!  The whole experience was incredible and I knew in that moment that this is what I wanted to do.

Gaëlle Van Lierde (Second from Left) in ‘More Than Crumbs‘ by Danny Eshel with KCDC 2

Where did you study and where did you dance prior to joining Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company?
At 13 I started my professional dance training at de!Kunsthumaniora in Antwerp. In my graduation year we had a school exchange with the Ironi Alef high School in Tel Aviv. This was my first taste of the Israeli dance scene which inspired me a lot. So after graduation I decided to continue my studies in Israel. I joined the Dance Journey Study Abroad Program here in Kibbutz Ga’aton for two 5-month semesters and continued in Kibbutz Ga’aton another year with the Dance Workshop professional dance program. After that, I joined the Maslool Professional Dance Program in Tel Aviv for one year. The following year I joined Kolben Dance Company in Jerusalem where I danced for three years. Currently this is my second year with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s Second Company (KCDC 2).

What attracted you to the movement language of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and that of Artistic Director Rami Be’er’s work?
Before I came to Israel when auditioning for schools and company’s in Europe I was slowly losing my love for contemporary dance. The contemporary dance scene in Europe to my opinion became very ‘experimental’. There was a lot of theatre involved, and movement became minimalistic. Dancing material by Rami Be’er was like taking a big breath. It’s very physical and technical which I love. Don’t get me wrong though, there is still meaning to the movement, but there is quite some freedom. It’s a never ending research with yourself, which makes it true and honest. Less ‘In your face’.

When did you join KCDC 2 and what was the audition process like?
Haha! Like any other audition not fun and very stressful! But since this place had been my home before I found some comfort in it. I came back to Ga’aton for the audition after 4 years since I left. In the end the experience was like reliving a good memory. I joined KCDC 2 in November 2018.

Can you tell us a bit about the life of a KCDC 2 dancer?  What material have you been working on?  Where have you preformed this season?  How is it performing more interactive works and dancing with audience members?
It’s very intense. This year we have two running works, 360° by Rami Be’er and More Than Crumbs by our Rehearsal Director Danny Eshel. Next to that we recently started a new creation progress by SuJeong Kim, a dancer of the Main Company. We perform all over Israel throughout the year and in November we were invited to the The Festival Jazztime in Ravensburg, Germany and in Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Oberschwaben in Weingarten, Germany. Another recent addition to the company is an after show event called Let’s Dance. It gives the audience the experience to join us on stage and basically create one big dance party. The audience become the performers, which in my opinion is a really nice opportunity to see and appreciate dance from ‘the other side’.

How does it feel being back living at the Int’l Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton once again?
Simple, it’s feels like coming home.

What is it like living among professional dancers, international dance students, and dance professionals at The International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton, Israel?
It’s a luxury ! You are surrounded by so many talented dancers all day long. You get inspired and you can learn from everyone. And since there is people from all over the world there is a collection of so many styles, qualities, personalities,… It’s a great place to keep growing and developing yourself.

Can you share with us how/what you feel dancing with the company on stage?
Time in the studio and rehearsal hours can be hard and sometimes very long, in the end going on stage is what makes it all worth it. After rehearsing over and over again, on stage you have to let it be, it’s like surrendering. You don’t create the movement it almost creates you. It becomes a playground. On top of that there is the power of the group. Shows can become very intense, and those small moments we find which each other of support to get true it are so magical.

Would you like to reach out to Gaëlle on Instagram?  You’re welcome to reach her at @gaelle_van_lierde

Come dance with us at our home at the International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton, Israel and take part in the:

Kibbutz Summer Intensive

Dance Journey Program

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