Dance is a form of storytelling for Koresh Dance Company’s artistic director, Ronen Koresh. It’s also a platform to share his Yemenite culture.
Koresh comes from a long line of dancers, most notably his mother, who would accompany him to folk dances. He later became interested in club dancing. “It was something that I noticed that people were noticing, and when I danced, I noticed that people were noticing me,” he said. “My expression in dance gave me a lot more attention than anything else and was a tool for me to communicate with people.”
After taking dance classes at a young age, Koresh sought to improve his technique and create his own art form. He draws his inspiration from hidden desires, his youth and his surroundings, which help him express his point of view. “To put these concepts into dance is like an artist painting their own world,” Koresh said. “It’s a nice escape, and in that world, I can be and do whatever I want to do.”
Today Koresh uses dance as a form of exploration rather than storytelling. “I think in the beginning it was more of a narrative, and today it’s more about discovery and content.”
He draws influence from Yemenite and Israeli culture. “I can’t remove who I am and where I come from and try to celebrate my heritage through my choreography,” he said. “When people go to a show, they travel and get to see new things. I try to expose people to different worlds.”
Middle Eastern countries inspire Koresh to choreograph certain dance steps, lines and circles, but he said his style is constantly changing. “I find that style is a limitation, and when you remove all those staples and stigmas, you are free to do whatever you want to do.”
Koresh’s dances incorporate music ranging from classical to industrial to contemporary bordering on hip-hop.
He also draws his inspiration from human relationships. “Everything human beings do relates to relationships. … It’s all about communication and relations between people.”
Koresh tries to focus on different aspects of relationships. “There are so many ways that people express love. For example, some are more romantic than others, and some are more aggressive. But I am a great believer in exploring that topic because … as time changes, our relationships change as well, especially how we communicate in today’s technological era.”
The dance company is working on two projects addressing intimacy and external influences, “Inner Sun” and “Matters of the Heart.” The former describes Earth’s mechanism and its inner core, which resembles the planet’s soul. The latter is about people’s hearts and their emotions and reactions.
“In the end, if the audience leaves inspired, you did your job,” Koresh said. “Inspiration comes from somebody giving you 100 percent. Everybody knows how difficult dance is and that dancers don’t get paid much yet sacrifice everything they have.”
What: Koresh Dance Company
Where: Marcus JCC, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, and 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28
Tickets: $25 for JCC members, $38 for others; www.atlantajcc.org/boxoffice or 678-812-4002