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A Peek into Nimrod Freed’s Choreography

Posted on 06 June 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Nimrod Freed’s Peep Dance

This article was initially published as “Close Encounters Series: Nimrod Freed” on The Winger in 2008, prior to a performance of his Peep Dance at Central Park SummerStage in New York.

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Nimrod Freed. Photo by Eyal Landesman.

Close Encounters Series: Nimrod Freed

My initial encounter with Nimrod Freed was in autumn 2007 via e-mail.  I first contacted him because he was on the faculty of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, my host institution here in Israel during my Fulbright grant.  We met, though, at a different college with a focus on teacher training: Seminar HaKibbutzim in northern Tel Aviv.

Not only does Nimrod teach at both of these institutions, but he also is the artistic director at Tel Aviv’s Beit Tami, a spectacularly located community center that is equipped with a few studios and a small performance space popular with independent choreographers.  There he runs the Tami Dance Company, which currently brings together one actor with several dancers in dance theater works.

As I learned about all of Nimrod’s roles during that first meeting at Seminar HaKibbutzim, I realized – in the very best way – that I had got more than I bargained for!  Speaking with him gave me a much clearer sense of the institutional map of Israeli contemporary dance.

Nimrod Freed’s Peep Dance. Photo by Anatoly Michaelo.

I also learned about Nimrod’s own career, from his beginnings in folk dance to his intensive study of concert dance, which was sparked by his involvement in an opera production of Samson and Delilah at age 16.  His interest in dance theater developed after seeing Pina Bausch’s Café Müller , and subsequently, he studied acting and directing at Tel Aviv University.  A class there with guest teacher Kei Takei proved to be a major turning point; indeed, soon afterwards, he joined her company Moving Earth in New York.

Nimrod stayed in the U.S. for just over a decade, and during this time, he also formed his own dance theater company.  It was an invitation to perform in the Israel Festival which paved the way back to his native country.  Through his teaching of improvisation and pedagogy, his choreography, and his leadership at Beit Tami, he has contributed enormously to the vibrant Israeli contemporary dance scene – but even as he maintains a home base in Tel Aviv, he continues to work internationally. Nimrod’s company has toured to Europe and Japan, where he met Min Tanaka and picked up a butoh influence.

Spectators at Nimrod Freed’s Peep Dance. Photo by Itamar Freed.

In July 2008, Nimrod returned to New York with the Tami Dance Company for a performance of Peep Dance at Central Park SummerStage. Like Israeli crowds, the American audiences clustered around colorful structures and put their eyes up to peepholes to sneak a peek at the dancers inside.

Nimrod Freed’s Subtext. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Nimrod’s latest work, Subtext, was shown as part of Curtain Up 2009 at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv and the Rebecca Crown Auditorium in Jerusalem.

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Curtain Up 1: Nimrod Freed Hosts Anat Grigorio and Dafi Altebab

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Nimrod Freed’s Subtext.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Dance In Israel: What is your relationship to Curtain Up?
Nimrod Freed: I was produced in Haramat Masach [Curtain Up] about four times.   At a certain moment I felt that I had to move on, and now it’s a very good way to come for a visit.
DII: On this visit, what drew you to invite both Anat and Dafi to join you in Curtain 1?
NF: I’ve known Anat and Dafi for many years.


Anat Grigorio’s Daydream.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

NF: I met Anat as a dancer; she came to dance in my Tami Dance Company.   I need to work with very creative people, and from that very moment, I saw her creativity.   As a matter of fact, while she was a dancer in my company, I was already producing her as a young creator.

Under the Rug

Dafi Altebab’s Under the Rug. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

NF: I met Dafi when I did the project “On the Edge” in Beit Tami, so I produced her work.  And I think both Anat and Dafi are very authentic and passionate and creative in an unusual way.

DII: Do you see any links between the work that you made for this program and the works that Dafi and Anat made?
NF: There is a common ground which happened by chance.  I didn’t strive for that . . . it happened.  The three of us are dealing with the hidden sides of life.

Under the Rug

Dafi Altebab’s Under the Rug. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

NF: Dafi is trying to reveal, to open up stuff that she pushed under the carpet.


Anat Grigorio’s Daydream.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

NF: Anat is dealing with this moment of waking up.  You know, in the morning, when we open up the eyes, trying to wake up; those moments that we don’t know exactly where we are . . . For her, you know, it’s a very intriguing time; many things are happening in this time, and she’s trying to dance it and understand it.  I guess she’s meeting her unconsciousness in those moments.


Nimrod Freed’s Subtext.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

NF: And I’m dealing with subtext.


Nimrod Freed’s Subtext.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

DII: Can you tell me a little bit more about your piece, Subtext?
NF: I am interested more in what is under the words, what is under our life.  I’m more interested in energy, in what people don’t say.  And I’m trying to dance it . . . Whenever we talk subtext, right away there is a new subtext.  And then we reveal it, we discover it, and right away there is a new layer, a new subtext.  When we dance, we find ourselves not dancing, not moving, and still there is a new subtext . . . For me it becomes more and more interesting, the world which is beneath, under, [rather] than the politically correct world.  And I wish we could talk subtext.  Maybe it wouldn’t be very polite, but it looks closer to truth.

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For listings of Curtain Up performances, please visit the Dance In Israel Calendars page.

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