Gertrud Kraus

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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.

Paula Padani

Paula Padani was an influential choreographer, performer, and teacher who explored Jewish themes in her work as she danced throughout Israel, the United States, and Europe. Her work was inspired by the landscapes of Israel and biblical themes, and she was celebrated in post World War Two Paris for her talent and vitality as a Jewish artist.

Hassia Levy-Agron

According to the judges who in 1998 awarded her the Israel Prize in the field of dance, Professor Hassia Levy-Agron was remarkable for her artistic and educational contributions over the previous fifty years, as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and educator who produced many generations of dancers, creators of dance, and dance teachers.

Gertrud Kraus

Gertrud Kraus was a pioneer dancer and choreographer, mainly in expressionist dance. Her career began in Vienna during the 1920s, but she performed her solo and group recitals throughout Central Europe and soon became a prominent modern dance artist. In 1935, at the peak of her European career, she immigrated to Palestine and her extensive and innovative work made her the leading figure of modern, expressionist dance in Israel.

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.

Yehudit Arnon

After surviving the Holocaust and immigrating to Palestine, Yehudit Arnon played an influential role in shaping modern dance in Israel. In 1948 Arnon and her husband helped to smuggle more than 100 orphaned children to Palestine and settled in Kibbutz Ga'aton, where she founded the  Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. 

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