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My book (Contemporary Dance in Israel) has been published!

Posted on 19 March 2012 by Deborah Friedes Galili

If you have wondered why I have written less on this website lately, it is in large part because I have been pouring much of my time into several other large-scale projects.  Last year, I wrote a book – and today, I am happy to announce that Contemporary Dance in Israel has been published by Asociación Cultural Danza Getxo!

While there are other books about the history of dance in Israel as well as journals and anthologies featuring articles about the country’s contemporary dance, this is the first book in English fully devoted to one of the world’s most vibrant contemporary dance scenes.  Composed of short sections about choreographers, companies, festivals, theaters, and other organizations, the book introduces newcomers to Israeli contemporary dance and enables readers familiar with the field to learn more about leading artists and institutions.

You can learn more about my book on a new website designed as a multimedia companion to Contemporary Dance in Israel.  There you can find short videos of works discussed in the book as well as links to the websites of choreographers, companies, festivals, theaters, and other organizations.  And of course, if you want to read the book itself (and I hope you will do so!), you can buy the English version of Contemporary Dance in Israel at the following links:

I am very excited about publishing my first book, and I would love to hear any thoughts you have about it either in comments on this blog post or through e-mail and Facebook messages. If you would like to like to help me by spreading the word to other dance fans on Facebook or through e-mail, I would greatly appreciate it! And if you are interested in hearing me lecture about my research, please use the form below to contact me.

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Conference: Modern Jewish Experience through the Lens of Dance

Posted on 01 February 2011 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Boxerman by Noa Zuk. Dancers: Maree ReMalia, Mara Penrose, and Dante Brown. Photo by Melissa Bontempo.

As my family and friends in the U.S. have updated me about snowstorm after snowstorm, I have developed an even greater appreciation for our mild Israeli winters.  But in a little over a week, I will happily trade these warmer climes for the cold Midwest, lured by a conference hosted by the Melton Center at The Ohio State University (OSU).  The conference, titled Modern Jewish Experience through the Lens of Dance, promises a plethora of presentations, performances, and spirited discussion – and it is all free and open to the public, so if you are in the Columbus area, come on out and join us on February 13 and 14!  The participating dancers and scholars will cover a wide range of topics, spanning a spectrum from folk dance to contemporary dance, and I am happy to contribute two talks that reflect some of my research here in Israel.  During the opening session on Sunday the 13th, I will give a presentation called “Beyond the Hora: Israeli Contemporary Dance,” and at one of the panels on Monday the 14th, I will give a presentation called “Questioning the ‘Israeli’ in Israeli Contemporary Dance.”  As an added bonus, the audience at the opening session will be treated to OSU students’ performance of Boxerman by Noa Zuk, an Israeli choreographer and former Batsheva dancer who, along with Ohad Fishof, recently taught Gaga at OSU as a Schusterman Visiting Artist.

Read on for more details about the conference.  Hope to see some of you there!

Modern Jewish Experience through the Lens of Dance

February 13-14, 2011
Sullivant Theater, Sullivant Hall, Ohio State Campus
1813 N. High Street

The conference opens with a public performance:
Jewish Dance in the 20th Century
Words, Imagery, Movement
Sunday, February 13 at 3:00 p.m.
Sullivant Theater, Sullivant Hall, Ohio State Campus
1813 N. High Street

This unique conference will include dancers and dance scholars from the U.S. and Israel to examine Jewishness in dance in the 20th and 21st centuries. This two-day international conference opens with a public performance focusing on modern Jewish dances, dancers, and choreographers, emphasizing the interrelationship between historical developments and dance. Scholarly panels and roundtable discussions will take place on Sunday evening and Monday morning.

The conference is free and open to the public. The complete conference schedule can be found on our website:

Supported by the Thomas and Diann Mann Distinguished Symposium on Judaism and the Herbert and Betty Schiff Fund for Jewish Studies.

Co-sponsored with The Ohio State University Department of Dance, The Ohio State University’s Center for Slavic and East European Studies, and The Lenore Schottenstein Jewish Arts Endowment and the Sara and Harry Schwartz Memorial Fund of the Columbus Jewish Foundation

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Announcing the Gaga Intensive 2010

Posted on 01 April 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Gaga Intensive. Photo by Gadi Dagon

Many of you have inquired about the 2010 Gaga Intensive, a two-week summer course offered by Ohad Naharin along with dancers from Batsheva Dance Company.  So, as the registration coordinator for the workshop, I’m pleased to offer you the scoop: this year’s intensive will be held from July 11-23 in Tel Aviv at the Batsheva studios in the Suzanne Dellal Center.  The Gaga Intensive is geared towards dancers and dance students age 18+.  Classes in Gaga, Naharin’s repertory, and Gaga methodics will run Sundays through Thursdays from 10:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon, and there will also be classes on Friday mornings. The course will cost 2000 NIS, or roughly $500.

If you have questions, please do not contact me through Dance In Israel but instead e-mail me at: [email protected]

You can register at:

Hope to see you in Tel Aviv this summer!

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Invitation to a Lecture at Emory University on American and Israeli Dance

Posted on 20 February 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet performing Ohad Naharin’s Decadance

If you’re in Atlanta, Georgia – or if you know someone in Atlanta – here’s a heads up:

I’m happy to announce that I am speaking in the Emory Friends of Dance Lecture Series on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).  My talk, Foreign Exchange: American and Israeli Dance from Martha Graham to Ohad Naharin, will precede a performance by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet of Ohad Naharin’s Decadance.  I won’t be in Atlanta in person, but I will be speaking via Skype and have an exciting presentation prepared!

Cedar Lake performing Ohad Naharin’s Decadance.  Photo by Paul B. Goode.

Here’s the official blurb about my lecture:

Forty years ago, Israel’s premiere dance company imported works by top American choreographers.  Now cutting-edge American troupes like Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet are drawing crowds with choreography by Israeli artists.  In this lecture, dance scholar Deborah Friedes Galili explores the dynamic relationship between American and Israeli dance and traces the meteoric rise of Israeli contemporary dance.  This lecture will be presented live from Israel via webcam prior to the performance by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

Cedar Lake performing Ohad Naharin’s Decadance.  Photo by Paul B. Goode.

My lecture is free and open to the public, so if you’re in Atlanta, I hope you will come listen in the Chase Lobby at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 N. Decatur Road.  I will speak for one half hour, and then there will be a question and answer session.  Please let others know about this event as well!

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A New Design (and Some Statistics) for a New Year

Posted on 19 October 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

In honor of our website’s first anniversary, we’ve rolled out a new magazine-style design!  If you’re reading this in your e-mail inbox or RSS feed reader, please visit us online and explore the new features we’ve unveiled (featured content, easier navigation, a better featured video system, an advanced search box, and more).

In the next few weeks, aside from our usual articles, we will publish some posts talking about the new features and also asking you about the direction we will take in the upcoming year.

Dance In Israel Visitors

A lot has happened since we established Dance In Israel one year ago today.  We’ve published over 90 articles, including 8 podcasts.  26,000 visitors from 137 countries around the world have explored our site, looking at 2 pages on average.  120 people subscribe to us via e-mail, and approximately 40 have our content delivered to their RSS feed readers.  We have 312 fans on Facebook (and counting).  We’ve hit Google page rank 5, a sign of our strength on the web.  And to boot, we – Deborah, who writes the posts, and Tal, who builds the blog – got married!

Thank you for following us as we developed over the past year, and please stay with us – there’s lots more to come!

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