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Tel Aviv

Orly Portal

27th and 28th March 2023.

Bitef Theatre


choreography: Orly Portal
music: Fakarouni
lyrics: Abd El-Wahab Mohamed
composition: Mohamed Abd El-Wahab
lighting design: Nadav Barnea
costumes: Rossello Shmaria
production manager: Tali Konigsberg
production coordinator: Karin Lederman

duration: 60’
premiere: Suzan Dellal Center, Tel Aviv, 2020.

dancers: Anderson Braz, Artour Astman, Erez Zohar
singer: Oum Kulthum

Fakarouni is a dance of passion, a temperamental ritual revealing the intimate connection between the temporal body and enduring love, set to a live recording of singer and musician Umm Kulthum, the "voice of a nation". Orly Portal's first choreography for male dancers is accompanied by the voice of the Lady who made her way in a man's world to become a cultural icon, a source of inspiration for freedom and proud female expression liberated from patriarchal dictation…. The culture of the pelvic movement as a social movement is open to the tradition and folklore that each and every one brings with them, the ingathering of the exiles both authentic and up-to-date. Gender boundaries blur as ancient power games are explored in depth forming a new definition of authoritarian masculinity and breakthrough femininity. A contemporary virtuoso dance that glorifies the ceremonial movement of the dancing body in a fascinating display of the myth of passion and the liberty to shine both as a man and as a woman.

Orly Portal dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, voice and movement therapist, a folklore explorer and the developer of a distinct dance language based on the creation of movement from deep release incorporating elements of belly dance, modern contemporary dance, contact improvisation and Feldenkrais. Born in 1969, Portal graduated from the Department of Dance Studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance before continuing her professional career as a principal dancer with the Kol Demama Dance Company directed by Moshe Efrati and the Batsheva Dance Company. As the co-founder of the Improvisa Ensemble she further explored the art of improvisation while all the time expanding her knowledge and delving deeper into Arab folklore, studying authentic Arab music at the Bar Ilan University and traveling to Morocco to learn firsthand the roots dance of the Gnawa and Berber tribes. For over 25 years, Portal has performed on many stages and festivals in Israel and around the world and has collaborated with leading artists from various fields. In 2009, she founded the Orly Portal Dance Company for which she created original choreographies introducing ancient dance through contemporary expression while applying insights from her extensive research. .

© Megaphone

Deep, layered and inspiring.
© Haaretz

I left dizzy from this ritualistic performance, which left an impression of excellence, passion for live and courage… Fakarouni takes us out of the ordinary throngs of existence, beyond the universe, to a place we do not know.
Naama Mashiach Cohen © Mokasini

I never thought that I could listen to the songs of Um Khulthum and fall in love with her. Portal managed, among other things, to make this happen.
Sara Feld © Megaphone