Israeli Choreographers and Jewish Themes in Dance Featured in January

Out of Israel Weekend, Jan 6-8, and Terezin Programs, Jan 15 and 20

New York, NY: December 20, 2011 -- In January, 92nd Street Y is presenting a weekend of dance by Israeli choreographers and is also looking at the legacy of the Holocaust in the world of dance.



Choreography by Israeli Artists Working in New York
Friday, January 6 - Sunday, January 8

92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Center invites Israeli artists in New York City (many of whom have performed here in the past) to present works-in-progress and repertory pieces during a special weekend celebration in conjunction with the APAP Conference. On Friday, artists present excerpts of their work in a free program. Saturday afternoon’s program, also free, provides room for complete works or longer excerpts. And on Sunday, Michal Samama curates an afternoon of multimedia work by friends and colleagues.

Fri, Jan 6, 12-2 pm, FREE

Short excerpts from Michal Samama, Lior Shneior, Neta Dance Company, LeeSaar The Company and Netta Yerushalmy.


Sat, Jan 7, 3-8 pm, FREE

Michal Samama: Under the Skin, a new solo work where Samama uses her body and her memories as raw materials, ready to be cut, peeled and transformed.

Lior Shneior: Sea Songs (2011), inspired by a visit to New London with its port and boats, old and new.

Neta Dance Company: Excerpts from The Captain’s Verses, a work-in-progress, based on poetry by Pablo Neruda and set to new music by David Broza.

LeeSaar The Company: Excerpts from Gili Noa, a work-in-progress that aims to push physical and emotional boundaries for both performers and viewers.

Netta Yerushalmy: Excerpts from devouring devouring.

Sun, Jan 8, 3-5 pm, $10

Choreographer and performance artist Michal Samama brings together a selection of works by artists who work in dance, music and video but who are also looking to step outside their comfort zones. Each piece examines the challenge of isolation in the artistic process, particularly the loneliness of trying to convey something for which there are no words. Joining Michal are Netta Yerushalmy (dance), You Nakai (music), Rebecca Patek (performance), Tom Pnini (video art) and Yonatan Niv (sound installation).

Will to Create, Will to Live: The Culture of Terezín: Connections to Dance

After the Holocaust: Legacy and Loss in Jewish Dance


Sun, Jan 15, 3 pm, FREE

Judith Bennahum and Judith Brin Ingber
Conversation and Book Signing

As part of 92nd Street Y’s series exploring the culture of the Terezín camp, where art and culture endured among Jewish internees despite the Holocaust, 92Y’s Harkness Dance Center focuses on the legacy and loss of the Jewish dance experience as a result of World War II. Dance scholar Judith Bennahum is the author of René Blum and the Ballets Russes: In Search of a Lost Life (Oxford University Press, 2011), which shows how Blum, after Diaghilev died and left the original Ballets Russes dispersed and distraught, brought together many of the company’s key artists in the 1930s and established the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo. Blum was arrested with other Jewish intellectuals in France in 1941 and died in Auschwitz in 1942.

In Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance (Wayne State University Press, 2011), Judith Brin Ingber considers the whole of Jewish dance: traditional and folk dances, dance culture in the Diaspora, the huge range of ethnic traditions in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and America that have shaped Jewish dance, essential Jewish creators of modern and contemporary dance, the effect of the Holocaust on dance, the importance of dance in Israel and the country’s current, vivid dance scene.

At 92Y, both authors discuss the vital persistence of dance through the cataclysm of the Second World War. Book-signing follows.

Fri, Jan 20, 12 pm, FREE

Dana Boll, Ze’eva Cohen, Carolyn Dorfman, Aviva Geismar, Laura Shapiro And Sokolow Dance Theater

Also part of 92Y’s special programming on the culture of Terezín, this performance presents works that resonate with the holocaust experience.

Carolyn Dorfman shows Cat’s Cradle, which incorporates music and poetry written by a prisoner and nurse in the children’s ward at Terezín. The dance centers on three women knitting and working with yarn, spinning tales of their pasts and their family while also creating a closely-knit bond.

Aviva Geismar contributes excerpts from two dances, Yelena (2000) and The Unbidden and Unhinged (2001) whose style is similar to the expressionistic German dance of the 1920s and ‘30s. Geismar’s own father lost most of his family at Auschwitz.

Laura Shapiro shows excerpts from her Letter from Poland, a dance she created after finding a letter, written in1937 and in Yiddish, to her grandmother, then living in Brooklyn. Shapiro’s dance addresses the layers of trauma and grace that we all carry in our bodies.

Ze’eva Cohen presents a solo made for her by Anna Sokolow – Dreaming. The dance embraces both moods of tenderness and longing and moments of intense anger and pain. This revival is the first time the dance has been performed since 1975; Cohen is staging it and the dancer will be Mariah Steele.

And the Sokolow Dance Theater performs the last section of Sokolow’s moving Scenes from the Music of Charles Ives (1971). The Ensemble’s director, Jim May, describes it as a “prayer in movement and one of the most deeply powerful choreographic works ever created in the expressionistic idiom.”   

Click here for more about 92Y’s "Will to Create, will to Live: The Culture of Terezin."

About 92nd Street Y

92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. A community of communities, 92Y is a home for candid, thoughtful discussions on the most pressing issues of our time. We offer an outstanding range of experiences in the performing, literary and visual arts for both audiences and practitioners; unparalleled access to celebrated artists, teachers and thinkers; and a place to pursue personal journeys – spiritual, physical or intellectual. Through the breadth and depth of 92Y’s extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. Every year, more than 300,000 people visit 92Y’s New York City venues, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. 92Y is an open door to extraordinary worlds. For more information, visit

Will to Create, Will to Live: The Culture of Terezín is generously supported by The Rita Allen Foundation; and The Harold W. and Ida L. Goldstein Lecture Fund through the Estate of Sanford Goldstein.

Additional support is provided by an anonymous donor; Suzi and Martin J. Oppenheimer; UJA-Federation of New York; the Austrian Cultural Forum; the Czech Center New York; and the Consulate General of Israel in New York.

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