Dance

The Indomitable Jewish Ballerina Who Inspired a Timeless Love Song

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Margit Wolf Ballet Photo

In 1944, at the height of the worst carnage the world has known, a mother in Budapest, Hungary, put her only son, then seven years old, out on the street with a pillow, a last morsel of bread, and the boy’s baptismal certificate. The mother was Jewish, the son Catholic.

Fifty years later the son, Cesare Frustaci—by that time an American citizen with a family of his own—contributed a video-taped oral history to Yale University and then sent the tape to author Germaine Shames. It told the story of his mother, ballerina Margit Wolf, who was banished from the stage by Mussolini only to inspire a timeless love song and then fade from history without a trace.

Discovering the Art of Prayer

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Olivia Link bat mitzvah

Adults may scoff, and my friends may hypocritically mock me, but I can never deny that I would want to stand out in a crowd. Whether a college application, a creative thesis for school, or even the food that I bring for lunch, I want to discover a personal uniqueness that I carry so I can have some special pride in my stride. Luckily for me, I can already claim an artistic and spiritual individuality that I bring to the table as a female Jew.

More than Meets the Eye

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Olivia Link dancing

We all deal with the misconceptions of other people about our passions. For me, those misconceptions repeatedly touch on my identity as a Jewish feminist dancer. Now when I mean feminist, I do not mean the stereotypical kind that burn bras in trash cans, but rather somebody who thinks equal empowerment is morally correct. Being a teenage girl, I believe girls like me should, and have the right to, feel empowered. Which brings me to my passions for dance and Judaism—the two things that have always allowed me to feel strong.

The Balancing Act: Finding a Foothold Between a Passion and Humanity

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belenpereyra

We continue looking at pop culture and role models with this post from one of our Rising Voices Fellows. Be sure to check the JWA blog each Tuesday for a new post from our fellows—and check out the great educational resources provided by our partner organization, Prozdor.

I wouldn’t call it “pop,” but it certainly is a culture. Some even push dance to a way of life: dance, eat, breathe, sleep. We dance fanatics live in our own little universe, striving to achieve goals that would just seem alien to other teenagers. Not many teenage girls prepare for their summer fun by strenuously hand-sewing ribbons and elastics on their pink satin pointe shoes...

Pearl Lang

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Pearl Lang photo - image [media]

I, too, was a Midwesterner transposed to New York, trying to find my own way in the rich and heady dance scene. I knew Pearl Lang had come from Chicago, where she was raised in a cultured but poor Yiddish-speaking family. Her breathtaking career as a Graham dancer meant she had toured the world. And she often performed with her own company, the Pearl Lang Dance Theater, at the famed 92nd Street Y’s theater, where I went for performances by modern dance legends and for Fred Berk’s Wednesday night Israeli folk dancing. But now I was going to Hunter to see Lang’s “Shirah,” which she created in 1960.

This is not about women playing dance. It’s about revolution.

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"Woman Wind"

The most courageous fourteen year old girl I have ever set eyes on, Malala Yousafzai, was shot in the head for her advocacy of education for women and I am spending my time organizing a flash mob o

Miri Shalem of Beit Shemesh and dance as a tool of social change

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Before most of us ever heard of the small town of Beit Shemesh, Miri Shalem the orthodox mother of four children and a long-time resident was directing the town’s JCC.

Anna Halprin and "Breath Made Visible"

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Anna Halprin

I've never thought of myself as a particularly good dancer. I dropped out of ballet after one lesson and these days I only feel comfortable on the dance floor after a couple of drinks.

100 years: Happy Birthday Anna Sokolow!

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Modern dance pioneer Anna Sokolow was born 100 years ago today in Hartford, Connecticut. Anna Sokolow was a Woman of Valor. She was a radical artist who used dance to explore social and political issues, challenege audiences, and make a statement.

Radical Dancing Annas!

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Anna Sokolow in "The Exile", 1939 - photo by Barbara Morgan

Seventy-one years ago today, Broadway got a little bit feistier when 27-year-old choreographer and dancer Anna Sokolow made her debut with several politically and socially charged compositions.

Anna Schön, a 23-year-old graduate of Barnard College, is a present-day radical dancer of another kind. 

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