Choreographic duo Uri Ivgi and Johan Greben (Ivgi & Greben) present their ideas and thoughts through an imaginative body vocabulary combined with poetic images which build and break, and touch and confront.
They consider their work to be a mirror for their audience as well as themselves and so invite the audience to search for a personal reflection of reality. Using themes such as oppression, tension between individuals and groups, longing for freedom and love, and sexuality and acceptance Ivgi & Greben create a visual world blending movement, music, light, set and costumes into an aesthetic of their own. By breaking boundaries and using intense physicality, their choreography achieves a tapestry representing control, power, strength and endurance interwoven with movements of softness, intimacy and tenderness.
Already during their individual dance careers with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and the Dutch National Ballet, the Israeli Uri Ivgi and the Dutch Johan Greben each started a successful career as choreographer. After his first piece ‘Isch-Ischa’ Ivgi was repeatedly invited to create for the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Israel. In 1998 he received the Award for Upcoming Choreographic Talent from the Ministry of Culture in Israel. In 2001/02 Ivgi won the Public Award with his duet ‘Longing’ during the International Competition for Choreographers in Groningen, NL and the second prize during the Choreographers Competition in Hannover in Germany. Greben received both the Encouragement Prize Choreography from the Amsterdam Foundation for Arts as well as the Wim Barry Perspective Award for his first piece ‘Straks’ for the Dutch National Ballet. In 1996 he won the third prize with his duet ‘610’ during the Choreographers Competition in Gelsenkirchen, DE.
The first collaboration of Ivgi & Greben took place in 2003 with a new version of Carmen for the Szeged Contemporary Dance Company in Hungary. Carmen was received with great success on several international festivals. Since 2003 they created for Ballett am Rhein, DE; Dansgroep Amsterdam, Introdans and Scapino Ballet NL; It dansa, ES; Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, SKR; Modern Dance Turkey, TR; National Theatre Ballet and Prague Chamber Ballet, CZ; Provincial Dances Theatre, RU; Phoenix Dance Theatre and Scottish Dance Theatre, GB; Skânes Dansteater and Norrdans SE; Ballet Junior de Geneva and Tanzkompanie Theater St. Gallen, CH.
In 2011, Ivgi & Greben won The Golden Mask Award in Moscow in the category Best Choreographer-Ballet/Contemporary Dance. They received this most prestigious Russian Theatre Prize for ‘This Is Not A Love Song’, which they created for the Provincial Dances Theater in Yekaterinburg.
In 2014 and 2015 Ivgi & Greben worked as artistic leaders of the Rozbark Dance and Movement Theatre in Poland. The recreation of their succesful production ‘This Is Not A Love Song’ was nominated as best production of the year. To develop audiences for contemporary dance in Poland, they created ‘I Give You My Heart’, a production presented in public spaces, in -and outdoors. They also initiated the festival, Rozbark in Motion combined with a training program for dancers and choreographers. Ivgi & Greben presented the company in Germany, France and The Netherlands.