As a dance major, I had the opportunity to work with the Vertigo Dance Company, and I made a trip down to their home base at a beautiful kibbutz, a collective community. I went to the Vertigo Eco-Art Village located at Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Heh for two days in early October – the best two days in Israel so far. I had a plenitude of amazing experiences here in such a short amount of time.
The kibbutz is run by four sisters, who are all artists in some field. These beautiful, inimitable women took on the project after their mom’s passing. One of the sisters called it a seed, and they went with it. Two of the sisters currently run the dance company, but all four run the kibbutz, which includes their partners and children.
In exploring movement and concepts from a new lens, a lot of pockets – untouched areas that allow new access to movement and light with an innovative mental and physical approach – opened in my body, pain and all, but I was able to delve into undiscovered territory as an artist to further expand my craft.
In this environment, I was inspired to be completely self-sustainable, as that is the mission of the kibbutz. They build everything themselves and use all natural resources to produce food, energy, housing, water, etc. I would love to eventually build my own home and grow all my own food as well.
A special moment I had during a dance class was with Hai, a man in a wheelchair who has been dancing for many years now. Every interaction with him throughout his class was incomparable: the support of the wheelchair, the hand improvisation, and the big hug at the end.
This was truly a life-changing experience, being on this land and being able to do what I love, seeing different ways of approaching life and artistry. It takes a village, and that was evident in this space.
Fun Facts about Jerusalem
- 874,000 residents
- 2,000+ active archaeological sites
- 50+ churches, 33 mosques, and 300 synagogues
- 60+ museums
- 1,500+ public parks and gardens
- Some of the olive trees in Jerusalem are more than 800 years old.
- There are more than 26 wineries in and around Jerusalem.
- There are more than 50 Christian churches, 33 Muslim mosques, and 300 Jewish synagogues in the city.
- Jerusalem hosts more than 30 annual festivals for everything from opera to film and from books to wine tasting, the most in all of Israel.
- Jerusalem hosts Israel’s second-largest Pride parade, which draws more than 25,000 marchers.
- Jerusalem has over 2,000 archeological sites.
- There are 90 hotels in Jerusalem hosting over 9,000 hotel rooms.
- There are over 6,000 species of plants in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.
- Jerusalem has 1,578 public gardens and parks