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Rina Schenfeld Dance Theatre: About “Angels”

Posted on 21 June 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Rina Schenfeld in "Angels"

Rina Schenfeld in her new work, Angels.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

This article is a guest post by Gdalit Neuman.  Enjoy!

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About Angels

By Gdalit Neuman

Tel Aviv native Rina Schenfeld is one of Israel’s most celebrated artists.  After studying at the world famous Julliard School in New York in her early twenties, Rina returned home and became a founding member and principal dancer of the Batsheva Dance Company from 1963-1979.  There she danced historic roles in works by none other than Martha Graham, Glenn Tetley, and John Cranko, to great acclaim.

After leaving Batsheva, Schenfeld embarked on a highly successful international career as principal dancer and choreographer of her own company, Rina Schenfeld Dance Theatre, which is based in Tel Aviv.  She is the recipient of countless distinguished international awards and in 1997 was honored with the Na’amat  lifetime achievement award in the realm of dance.  The New York Times hailed Schenfeld as “one of the most important artists of our generation.”

Now Rina Schenfeld has done it again. After the tremendous success of her last work Dance Me to the End of Love (ריקדי לקצה האהבה), she will present her latest full length evening entitled Angels (מה לך מלאך?) at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv on June 23rd.  Angels is a journey into this first lady of dance’s wild and wonderful imagination.  Using songs by Laurie Anderson as inspiration, Schenfeld paints a colorful canvas of images, movement, sound and screen that tempt the pallet and are sure to satisfy.  Images of suspended angels, darkness and light, the Garden of Eden, and past and present speckle the stage.

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Ohad Naharin to Receive 2009 Scripps/ADF Award

Posted on 24 April 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Ohad Naharin

Ohad Naharin.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Since 1981, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award has been bestowed annually on luminaries of the dance world.  From Martha Graham (the first recipient) to Laura Dean (the 2008 recipient), selected choreographers have won this prize with their lifelong devotion to building and shaping their art form.  The honorees have pioneered new techniques and ventured into unfamiliar compositional territory.  Out of their experiments emerged choreography that was not only groundbreaking but masterful.

With the exceptions of Pina Bausch and Maguy Marin, the Scripps recipients have been American or based in the United States.  This year, though, a third choreographer from abroad will receive the award: Ohad Naharin.  The award presentation will take place on June 25th at ADF in Durham, North Carolina.

Naharin, the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, has left an indelible impact not only on the troupe he leads but on the larger Israeli dance scene.  Yet as his selection for the Scripps award suggests, Naharin’s influence is also felt beyond Israel’s borders.

Indeed, Naharin’s work has spread worldwide.  Major companies including the Nederlans Dans Theater and the New York-based Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet have performed his critically acclaimed and captivating choreography.  Juilliard students have learned several of Naharin’s works over the years, while young dancers in Sweden recently presented Kamuyot. And of course, the Batsheva Dance Company itself has toured around the globe with a tempting menu of Naharin’s visual delights.

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