Margalit Oved

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Ze'eva Cohen

Ze’eva Cohen is a Yemenite-Israeli-American dancer and choreographer who redefined what it means to be a Jewish performer. She was a leader in the world of postmodern dance in New York between the 1960s and 1990s, a founding member of Dance Theater Workshop, and founding director of the dance program at Princeton University. She choreographed for companies all over the world, performed in the work of countless contemporary choreographers, published articles in English and Hebrew, and influenced generations of dance students.

Judith Brin Ingber

Judith Brin Ingber is a dancer, choreographer, writer, and dance historian who fostered the contemporary research field of Jewish dance studies. Ingber established conversations regarding how dance is a Jewish cultural phenomenon. She fostered multiple generations of Jewish dance researchers, students, dancers, and writers.

Margalit Oved

Margalit Oved—dancer, choreographer, singer, actress, musician—is the epitome of a performance artist. Her work blended elements from the Yemen of her childhood, the Israel of her adolescence, and the Los Angeles of her adulthood. She has left an indelible mark on twentieth-century Jewish culture through her inventive and modern interpretations of ancient biblical tales.

Israeli Folk Dance Pioneers in North America

Dance has been an integral element of the Jewish community since biblical times. An intense desire to share the joy of dance, coupled with a strong identification with both Israel and their Jewish roots, spurred a group of influential women to create a flourishing movement of Israeli folk dance in North America. Today, Israeli folk dance enjoys a wider popularity than ever.

Community Dance Practices in the Yishuv and Israel: 1900-2000

Women have been at the forefront of preserving community dance practices in Israel. In the 1970s Gurit Kadman worked with ethnomusicologist Dr. Esther Gerson-Kiwi to collect, document, and study ethnic music and dance practices in Israel. Eventually elements of ethnic dances were incorporated into the canon of Israeli folk dance.

Dance in the Yishuv and Israel

Artists began to try to create a new Hebrew dance in the 1920s. Israeli Expressionist Dance flourished first, followed by American modern dance. Israeli dance became professionalized and centralized, and over the past few decades, efforts to promote local creativity accelerated, ethnic dance companies have flourished, and choreographers have taken increasingly political stances.

Modern Dance Performance in the United States

Jewish immigrants to the New World brought with them their ritual and celebratory Jewish dances, but these traditional forms of Jewish dance waned in the United States. Working-class and poor Jewish immigrants parents sought out culture and education in the arts for their children, often as a vehicle for assimilation. Jewish women were particularly attracted to the field of modern dance.

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