During this global epidemic as many of us are idle at home, we sat down with company dancer NIka Lilek and learn of her background and personal experience dancing in Kibbutz Contemporary Company, while 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.
Hello, I’m Nika and I come from Zagreb, Croatia.
I fell in love with dance at an early age, thanks to my mom Snježana Lilek.  I took my first dance steps when I was about three year old, in one of her small studios of her dance school ‘MoDuS’.  With time, I tried many dance styles and participated in many dance competitions , which gave me the curiosity to look further and the courage to believe the dance could actually be my path and  profession one day.

Nika Lilek in ‘A Good Citzen’ by Rami Be’er | Photo by Udi Hilman

Where did you study and where did you dance prior to joining Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company?
I finished high school for classical ballet in Zagreb in 2007.  Afterwards, while developing my own dance skills and exploring this enormous world and possibilities of dance, I tried teaching and working with young students where I found another passion and great joy.  But there was still so much to learn.

Since 2014, I performed in diverse shows from contemporary to improvisation-based works, among others, and was a member of Kelkope Dance Company for two years.
In 2014, I became a member of the Zagreb Dance Company led by Snježana Abramović and later on by Petra Glad.

I joined the National Ballet Theater in Rijeka, Croatia led by Maša Kolar in March 2017.
and afterwards,  I joined Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s Main Company in September 2019.

It was a beautiful and versatile path and I loved every step of the way.

What attracted you to the movement language of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and Rami Be’er’s work?
I was amazed to see the company’s elegance…so strong , precise, but at the same time its free and passionate way of movement.  The dancers are so beautiful and I was immediately attracted to how each is so special and has something unique and different to offer.  The group parts are so strong and animalistic and precise which fascinates me, but also when it comes to the dancers themselves.  We are so different and you can, at the same time, push to grow your own way of movement while learning so much from your fellow dancers.  I feel beyond grateful to be able to learn and grow among this magical group of dancers.

Nika Lilek in ‘A Good Citzen’ by Rami Be’er | Photo by Udi Hilman

What is it like living amongst professional dancers, international dance students, and dance professionals at The International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton, Israel?
Living  here in Kibbutz Ga’aton is really a unique experience; one that’s  very new to me, and one that I must say that I enjoy.  It’s as though we are living in this bubble surrounded by nature and dance.  Many students and dancers are living so close together that it feels like a big family.  I also feel that this really keeps us focused and motivated on work, but it is also so easy to relax and just be still after working hours.  Sometimes I think I miss a bit of dressing nicely and the city rush that I am used to, but seeing so many friendly faces and everyone determined to the same goal  to grow and explore, helping so much each other makes me feel happy and safe.

Can you share with us how/what you feel dancing with the company on stage?
Dancing with the company on stage for me feels like we are entering some magical world together once the show starts, and come out of this world once it finishes.  The connection is really strong and you can feel the energies of the dancers helping  you so much to flow together but also to be the best version of yourself.  I always had a bit of stage fright , and sometimes I get stressed how things will transgress and if I’ll succeed to relax and let go, but the moment we get into a circle and give a last cheer before show starts, and the lights go off and curtain opens, I see us all in beauty that inspires me to let myself go and trust the ride.  It is really an amazing experience.

Nika Lilek in ‘A Good Citzen’ by Rami Be’er | Photo by Udi Hilman

What’s your most memorable international experience with the company?
My most memorable international experience with the company is my first one.  Azerbaijan. It was really fun.  The city’s beautiful.  Familiarizing myself with the company was exciting and I enjoyed it.  The show was really relaxed and was performed in a beautiful theater. Another exceptional performance  was at the International Exposure for Dance in Tel Aviv where it was the first time that I also succeeded to let go completely and it felt like flying.

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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