Tag Archive | "dance"

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Noa Dar Discusses Her Dance Career (Podcast)

Posted on 02 September 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Download the podcast (You can right-click the link and press “save as” to download the file to your computer.)

Noa Dar in "Arnica"

Noa Dar in Arnica.  Photo by Tamar Lam.

(This podcast was initially produced for Israel Seen in 2008, and the text is amended from my writing on The Winger.  You can subscribe to this podcast using the iTunes software by clicking this link to the podcast feed.)

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I had spent many evenings during my Fulbright year taking contemporary dance classes with Shlomit Fundaminsky and Inbal Aloni at Noa Dar’s studio in Tel Aviv, but when I entered the building one night for a performance of Noa’s Tetris, it was as if I had walked into another world. When I viewed Arnica a month later in the more traditional environment of Tel Aviv’s Tmuna Theater, I not only saw Noa’s range as a choreographer but was struck by her powerful presence as a performer.  After screening more of her work on DVD, I knew I had to meet the woman whose name graced the space where I so frequently took class!

We set up a meeting, and at long last I met Noa in her studio for a stimulating conversation.  During our interview, Noa reflected on the development of her movement vocabulary, the evolution of her repertory, her choreographic process, and the relationship of her work to her upbringing on a kibbutz and to the larger Israeli society.  It was a really rich discussion that, for me, further illuminated her well-crafted choreography while shedding even more light on the surrounding contexts of Israeli dance and Israeli culture.   I hope it will open your eyes as well!

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Noa Dar is currently on tour with Arnica and Tetris in Frankfurt and Münster, Germany, through September 9th.  For video clips and photos of these works and more, please see below.

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Gaga: A Foreigner Explores Ohad Naharin’s Movement Language

Posted on 03 January 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Gaga Class November 2008

(Photo: Gaga class with Ohad Naharin, center, in November 2008.  I am “connecting to pleasure” on the left.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.)

(I originally wrote this post for The Winger on May 4, 2008, under the title, “Going Gaga All Over Again.”)

When I took my first Gaga class in fall of 2007, I was like an infant, tentatively trying out a new way of moving while also beginning to learn Hebrew. Everything was foreign to me, and processing a different framework for dancing in an unfamiliar language was a challenge.  Thankfully, my Gaga teachers were willing to pepper their instructions with English, and my Hebrew tutor helped me learn the frequently used terms which I wrote down after lessons.

Like a child, I steadily gained more mastery of my body and built up my communication skills; I acquired a physical language and, at least partially, the accompanying verbal language.  It’s not always easy to see progress in language acquisition – but when I successfully took two Gaga classes taught almost entirely in Hebrew on April 22, 2008, I was floating both figuratively and literally (to float, or “latzoof,” is one of the most common directions in Gaga).

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Dance In Israel joins the DanceBloggers.com community!

Posted on 10 December 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Shortly after I started blogging, I found the desire and the need to follow other dance blogs on a regular basis.  I was eager to discover other dance bloggers and connect with them; I hoped that online, I might find a community feeling similar to what I had always enjoyed in the studio.

Three issues arose as I explored the dance blogosphere from my initial vantage point:

  • It wasn’t always easy to find dance bloggers, even though we exist (really!)
  • Once I found other dance bloggers, following their posts by entering their sites individually (every day) became very time consuming and tiring.
  • I still wanted to connect more easily to other dance bloggers and readers – especially since I was halfway around the world from most of the people I met online!

I hope to see these issues resolved through the introduction of a new website that is bringing dance bloggers together: www.DanceBloggers.com

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Close Encounters Series: Yasmeen Godder

Posted on 03 November 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Yasmeen Godder’s Singular Sensation will be performed in New Haven, CT as part of Yale University’s World Performance Project Festival on November 11-12. Photo by Tamar Lamm.  See our Events page for the listing.

Throughout my time in Israel, I have had the privilege of speaking with a number of choreographers and dancers about their art.  Here on Dance In Israel, I will be sharing these conversations with you in a series of “Close Encounters” articles and in a series of podcasted audio interviews.  This “Close Encounters” article on Yasmeen Godder was first published on The Winger in June of 2008.

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Yasmeen Godder. Photo by Natan Dvir.

If you’re part of the New York dance scene, you’ve probably stepped through some of the same doors as Yasmeen Godder. Born in Israel and raised in Jerusalem until age 11, Yasmeen moved to the U.S. with her family, attended the High School of the Performing Arts in New York City, studied at Movement Research and the Klein School, and received her undergraduate degree from NYU’s Tisch School. The Kitchen, DTW, and Dancing in the Streets have all commissioned work from her, and she was awarded a Bessie in 2001 for I Feel Funny Today.

If you’re part of the Israeli dance scene, you’ve undoubtedly felt Yasmeen’s influence and quite possibly crossed paths with her. I had heard of Yasmeen prior to arriving in Israel because of her activities in the U.S. and the acclaim which has greeted her works both in the states and Europe, and as soon as I arrived in Israel, I began to realize the impact she has made in her home country. Her name frequently came up in conversations about both choreographers and teachers, and many people urged me to see her work and take her class. So it was that I ventured down to Yafo (Jaffa) to take technique at her studio, attended a performance there of Sudden Birds (see the video below), and went to a performance of I’m Mean, I Am at the Suzanne Dellal Center.

Months later, I’m not surprised that I heard so much buzz about Yasmeen. I found Yasmeen’s classes to be quite challenging and enormously helpful in their specificity, especially as I attempt to widen my body’s range and move with less muscular effort. She welcomes students’ reflections in class and presents her own ideas with clarity and details that enable me to adjust my mindset and body to a more unfamiliar technical framework.

I also found Yasmeen’s choreography to be as challenging as her classes, and refreshingly so. Continue Reading

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