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Anna Sokolow

Anna Sokolow

Anna Sokolow pushed the boundaries of modern dance, using her performances to explore important social issues and the darkest human emotions.

Women of Valor: Jewish Heroes Across Time

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100 years: Happy Birthday Anna Sokolow!

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.

Anna Sokolow

Anna Sokolow was a dancer and choreographer of uncompromising integrity. Believing strongly that dance could be more than mere entertainment, she explored the most pressing issues of her day—from the Great Depression, to the Holocaust, to the alienated youth of the 1960s—and challenged her audiences to think deeply about themselves and their society.

Radical dance pioneer Anna Sokolow debuts on Broadway

November 14, 1937

Modern dance pioneer Anna Sokolow debuted on Broadway.

Anna Sokolow

Anna Sokolow is a dancer and choreographer whose hundreds of dance works, plays, operas and festivals have reflected the social, political and human conflicts of her time.

Dance Performance in the United States

Dance has always had a special place in the Jewish community because of its capacity to heighten communal and individual joy at weddings as prescribed in the [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:416]Talmud[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary], at bar and [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:301]bat mitzvah[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] celebrations, and on other happy occasions. The Bible contains many mentions of dance in celebration of important holidays and Israelite victories. Jews have always danced with the [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:424]Torah[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] scrolls in processionals on the holiday of [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:407]Simhat Torah[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary], and there are movement processionals on other holidays, as well as during the weekly Sabbath services. A very simple form of dance is even part of Jewish prayer, as the rhythmic rocking movement of davening (praying) literally embodies the notion of total devotion to God.

Radical Dancing Annas!

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. 

Anna Sokolow: Using Art as Activism

Most of the time, harsh world realities leave us feeling powerless. Violence, illness, prejudice, and war cause us to ask: does our work really matter? Artists might be confronted with this question more often than others. When families can’t put food on the table, Art may seem irrelevant. But modern dance pioneer, Anna Sokolow, reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Anna Sokolow." (Viewed on September 17, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/11282>.

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