One of the most important choreographers of Israeli movement theater, Oshra Elkayam-Ronen distinguished herself by approaching stories from unusual angles, such as a feminist retelling of the story of Adam and Eve. Raised on a farm in Netanyah, she began studying dance with Gertrud Kraus in the early 1950s before earning a scholarship to study with Martha Graham in 1956. She then took classes at Juilliard and briefly founded her own company before marrying kibbutznik and Israeli Air Force pilot Haggai Ronen in 1960. In 1963 she returned to Israel and joined the Batsheva Company as a dancer and choreographer, earning praise for her 1965 Adam and Eve and her 1966 David and Goliath. From 1967–1969 she ran the Oshra Elkayam Dance Theater, but after her husband was killed in action in 1969, she moved to his kibbutz, Afikim, and founded a dance troupe there. In the 1970s she became the first guest choreographer to create works for the Inbal Theater, including 1972’s Requiem for a Warrior, 1976’s And the Sea Is not yet Full, and 1979’s Song of Songs, each influenced by her husband’s death. She then founded a new company devoted to movement theater, winning the Israel Prize in 1981 for Terminal. Her later work incorporates pantomime, poetry, animation, and video.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Oshra Elkayam-Ronen." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/elkayam-ronen-oshra>.