This Acrodance Couple Redefines #PartneringGoals
If you want to take more risks in your partnering (or just love jaw-dropping dance videos), we found the perfect inspiration: Amir Guetta and Hemda Ben Zvi. This amazing duo from Israel specializes in an acrobatic circus technique called “hand to hand” blended with creative choreography and influences from martial arts, like capoeira.
The result is a seemingly effortless flow of weight-sharing, leaping, catching, falling and balancing, not to mention a constant questioning of how-did-they-do-that? While most of their routines are choreographed, they “listen” with their bodies in a way that’s reminiscent of contact improvisation.
Guetta and Ben Zvi started collaborating together four years ago—and almost by accident. They were both taking an acrobalance class at a circus school in Israel. When students began pairing off, “most of the big guys wanted to work with a small girl,” they wrote over email. That left Guetta, a compact mover with a background in capoeira, with Ben Zvi, who grew up training in a youth circus. Both were interested in being lifted. They flipped the usual roles of the male base and female flyer and began experimenting.
“We started working on our own movement straight from the beginning,” they say, leveraging each other’s natural skills like “Amir’s good jump and Hemda’s stability. Like in the language of capoeira, we try to make a conversation with our movement. Every action brings a reaction from the partner. That conversation is what actually moves us.”
Now, they’re based in Toulouse, France, and recently began creating a show called ZOOG (which means “couple” in Hebrew). They plan to combine acrobatic movement, partnering and hand-to-hand technique with elements of humor and surprise.
Though they work mainly in the vein of acro and circus, Guetta and Ben Zvi say they definitely consider themselves “movers.” “Every person that expresses himself with movement is a dancer,” they say.