“Jasmin Vardimon Company (JVC) is one of Britain’s most pioneering physical dance theatre companies, creating work that excites both the eye and the mind by pushing the boundaries of human physicality whilst engaging in universal, contemporary themes that strike an emotional chord.”
In this piece of work I will be discussing one of Britain’s leading Contemporary Choreographers, Jasmin Vardimon. I will discuss her history, how she rose from the Kibbutz in Israel, to become one of the most influential and dynamic choreographers in Britain today. I will discuss her company’s origin, her most important work to date, achievements and awards that she has received and how she is influencing the contemporary dance world in Britain and abroad today.
Born and raised on a Kibbutz in central Israel, Jasmin Vardimon has become a significant element within the British dance scene. Before turning to dance, Vardimon done military service at the age of 18 for two years, she also worked as a psychological “interviewer”, studying and interviewing people.
She has made a name for herself throughout the years after first joining the Kibbutz Dance Company, which is one of Israel’s principal dance companies, before going on to win the British Council “On the Way to London” award in 1995. After moving to London in 1997, Jasmin Vardimon founded her own company Zbang, which is now know as Jasmin Vardimon Company.
Throughout the past decade Jasmin Vardimon has developed a strong recognisable artistic voice in the contemporary world. Vardimon’s work is centred around the human behaviour, which is portrayed through the storyline of each piece. Vardmons’ choreography is “Renowned for dynamic, funky and highly physical choreography that is thrilling to watch”. From personal experience of seeing Jasmin Vardimon show called Yesterday in the McRoberts Theatre, Stirling, I felt the performance was one of the few shows that I have seen, were I was unable to take my eyes off the dancers.
The physical demands that the dancers face, such as the fluidity of the complex movements and how all the dancers have each series of sequences in perfect unison, also the way they were able to interpret each characters. The characterisation made the choreography and storyline so believable. In my opinion the show was absolutely breath taking.
“I read see and hear all the time and get influences from many little things, mostly from real life.”
Human behaviour is a big influence in Jasmin Vardimons work, and this is strongly seen in her choreography. I believe that the psychological work that she did previous is one of her main inspiration when creating as she has a great understanding of the human psyche. Vardimons style merges together physical theatre and dance, with the outcome being energetic, explosive, beautiful with quirky character. Another influence in Jasmin Vardimons work is multimedia technology. In many of her works strong visual effects have been used to make the pieces come to life. Video recordings, video playback, special effects and complex lighting have been used to create the mood and atmosphere for the setting.
When creating movement, Vardimon works hand in hand with her dancers giving them a chance to help create material, from which she will develop further, “I work, a lot, with task orientated techniques so I would give [the dancers] a task and see how they react to my idea and then I’ll take it from there.”
One of Jasmin Vardimons most important works to date I believe would have to be “Yesterday”. This production was choreographed for her company, Jasmin Vardimon Company, for their 10th anniversary tour, which began touring in Autumn 2008, and is still touring at present.
“YESTERDAY is a retrospective new piece featuring some of the most breath-taking duets, striking solos andiconic moments selected from the company’s repertoire: Justitia, Park, Lullaby, Tête, Lurelurelure and Ticklish.”
As well as using material from those previous works, Vardimon has added in new highly convincing, exciting and complicated choreography to make the show come alive. With a wide range of multimedia technology being used to enhance the effect the audience will perceive, this show as having phenomenal reviews from critics.
Jasmin Vardimon explains in an interview with Neil Nisbet in article 19, that this piece is not a new piece of work, but a collaboration of all her previous work she has done with her company Jasmin Vardimon Company, (JVC).
As well as having and choreographing for her own company, Jasmin Vardimon has worked with many other companies “Hellenic Dance (Athens), CandoCo, WID, Bare Bones, Transitions and curated the Dance Ballads Festival at the Oval House”. In 1998 Vardimon was Associate Artist at The place and from 1999 to 1005 she was a Yorkshire Dance Partner. She is currently Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells in London since 2006.
During the past decade Jasmin Vardimon as receive numerous awards for her choreography and contribution to the contemporary dance world. Some of the many awards she has won are, Jerwood Choreography Award (2000), the London Art Board “new Choreographers” Award in 1998. She was also nominated for the “Best Female Artist award at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award in 2003.
Jasmin Vardimon Company, is a international company performing in some of the highly profiled theatres around the world. The 10th anniversary tour is the biggest tour, the company has done to date, performing nationally and internationally in Europe and Asia. The company is based in Brighton though does not have a permanent residence there.
The contribution Jasmin Vardimon is giving back to the contemporary world is through her educational outreach programme. There are two main workshops given, choreography and Repertoire, which is adapted for all levels. The workshops help to give dancers, amitoure and professional the chance to see how Vardimon works, also giving the dancers the chance to develop dance and theatre skills. The workshops can be tailored for the participants. They can be pure dance and physical theatre, or have a deeper look at social contents and problems such as bullying and illness.
The workshops are run by members of the JVC giving the chance to learn first hand what its like to work in such a inspirational company.
http://www.jasminvardimon.com/media/press/JVC_Yesterday_PR.pdf, PRESS RELEASE 15 July 2008
 http://www.jasminvardimon.com/productions.htm l
 http://www.jasminvardimon.com/productions.html, The Times