Dance

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Rina Schenfeld

Rina Schenfeld has choreographed solo and company performances that have been presented on the world’s most important stages. She uses the objects of daily life for her props, tests the limits of their usefulness and creates a poetic world with them.

Angiola Sartorio

In approximately 1918 Angiola Sartorio had an opportunity to see a performance by the father of European modern dance, the Hungarian Rudolf von Laban (1879–1958). This proved a striking and fateful experience for her. She was later able to attend the classes of Laban teacher Sylvia Bodmer (1902–1989) and received her diploma from Laban himself.

Ida Rubinstein

From an early age Ida Rubinstein studied dance and provoked scandal by pushing the boundaries of sexuality and respectability. Although she was a controversial figure, her prolific career in French ballet and as a patron of French music make her a significant pioneer of the early twentieth-century French dance scene.

Bethsabée Rothschild

Baroness Bethsabée (Hebrew: Batsheva) de Rothschild, scion of a well-known philanthropic family, was a modest and generous woman with a mighty vision. The foundations she established helped support numerous activities in the United States and Israel, especially dance, music and science.

Norma Rosen

Compelled, as a Jewish writer, by the injunction to remember, “Zakhor,” Norma Rosen’s fiction and essays examine ethics, motherhood, and faith after the Holocaust, as well as Jewish identity, feminism, texts, and practices.

Marie Rambert

Influenced by Isadora Duncan, Emile Jacques-Dalcroze, and Vaslav Nijinsky, Marie Rambert became known as one of the “Mothers” of English ballet. Her passion for and devotion to dance allowed her to become a talented choreographer and cultivator of talent, and her contributions to the art form earned her many honors.

Linda Rabin

A dancer, choreographer and teacher, Most of Linda Rabin’s teaching efforts have been devoted to Linda Rabin Danse Moderne in Montréal, which evolved into les Ateliers de Danse Moderne de Montreal (LADMMI) of which she was the co-founder and long-time co-director.

Maya Plisetskaya

One of the legendary ballerinas of her generation, Maya Plisetskaya was born in Moscow in 1925. In 1959 Plisetskaya danced with the Bolshoi on its first, headline-making tour of the United States.

Paula Padani

]Padani was sent by the Joint Distribution Committee to tour some sixty refugee camps in the American-occupied zone in Germany. Here her outstanding number was her signature solo, Horah, which was such a success that audiences refused to let her leave the stage. She then made a long tour of the United States, where her solo dances evoked similar enthusiasm.She devoted herself to teaching and to her family—a daughter, Gabrielle, born in 1951. She joined the famous Wacker studio before renting a studio of her own, first in the rue de Tournon and then in the rue du bac. She taught both professional dancers and amateurs, whose creative talents she loved to nurture.

Yehudit Ornstein

A dancer and choreographer, Yehudit immigrated to Palestine from Vienna in 1921, together with her mother Margalit Ornstein and her twin sister Shoshana.

Margalit Ornstein

Margalit Ornstein (nèe Oppenheimer) is perceived as the “founding mother” of Israeli dance, a pioneer of modern dance in Erez Israel and of the revolutionary ideas of the new “body culture” movement.

Shoshana Ornstein

After emigrating to Palestine with her mother and twin sister at the age of ten, the Ornstein sisters formed a celebrated dancing duo. In addition to years of performing dances in the style of German “Free Dance” and influenced by her pioneer status in Erez Israel, she taught for sixty years at the Ornstein Studio in Tel Aviv, one of Israel’s most prominent schools.

Rina Nikova

Rina Nikova, a pioneer of classical and biblical ballet in Palestine, distinguished herself mostly in character dances, which had a nationalist style influenced by ethnic folklore.

Meredith Monk

An innovator in mixed-media forms, Meredith Monk uses music, dance, drama, and film in theater pieces that may move between ancient times and modern, between exotic fantasy and everyday reality.

Sulamif Messerer

Sulamif Messerer, who trained at the Bolshoi school in Moscow, had been a swimming champion for four years, achieving the Russian record at the first Soviet Olympiada in 1928. However, she left swimming in 1929 when she was promoted to the rank of prima ballerina in the Bolshoi Ballet Company, a position she held for twenty-five years.

Alicia Markova

Dame Alicia Markova, Britain’s first prima ballerina, combined amazing technique and personal strength with tremendous artistry to become one of the finest classical dancers of her generation and, through touring extensively to develop and expand its audience, one of ballet’s greatest ambassadors. She also extended her legacy beyond performance, through choreography and her commitment to coaching succeeding generations of dancers.

Bella Lewitzky

For more than six decades, Bella Lewitzky, a maverick in the world of modern dance, distinguished herself as a preeminent performer, choreographer, artistic director, educator, public speaker, and civic activist. With an unshakable preference for living in the West, she defied norms that posited New York City as the center of American dance, maintaining the Lewitzky Dance Company in Los Angeles for over thirty years. She was also known for two highly publicized encounters with the federal government, risking professional ostracism to stand upon principle.

Sara Levi-Tanai

Sara Levi-Tanai was the founder, choreographer and artistic director of the Inbal Dance Theater. With an original style and multiple talents (music, art, theater, dance), she established a unique dance theater that combines the East and West, the early history of the Nation of Israel with the present, nascent Israel—thus creating a new language of movement in the world of dance that is called “the Inbal language.”

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. As far back as the 1940s, Levy-Agron gave many solo performances as well as cultural evenings and recitals. She initiated and participated in combined performances of dance, dramatic reading and music, which were called Mahol-Niv (mahol=dance in Hebrew, niv=idiom).

Pearl Lang

In Pearl Lang’s socialist, working-class family, music, theater, and poetry were integral to the daily routine. Her father played piano, her mother wrote poetry, and both actively participated in Chicago’s Jewish cultural societies. Yiddish was the first language in the household. Pearl would be powerfully influenced not only by her family’s Jewish heritage but also by the cultural riches of Chicago. She learned English with her mother at night school and at Hibbard Elementary School, which offered classes integrating art, literature, history, and geography. Not surprisingly, her own interest in artistic activities began early.

Gertrud Kraus

Gertrud Kraus, the “first lady” of modern expressionistic dance in Israel, was born in Vienna on May 5, 1901.

Allegra Kent

The beloved American ballerina Allegra Kent created and danced in nearly all principal roles in George Balanchine’s celebrated ouevre during her thirty years as a dancer with the renowned New York City Ballet.

Gurit Kadman

Gurit Kadman earned fame as a pioneer of Israeli folk dancing. In Germany, she joined the Wandervogel, a youth movement that focused on German folk culture, and after she moved to Palestine she continued to learn, teach, and preserve Israeli folk dance.

Lydia Joel

Lydia Joel began her dance career as a performer, but it was as the editor-in-chief of Dance Magazine that she had the greatest impact on the field. She expanded the magazines’ coverage, staff, and popularity, and she remained influential in dance until her death in 1992.

Irina Jacobson

Irina Jacobson, a Soviet-Russian dancer, teacher and international authority on the staging of the major nineteenth- and twentieth-century Romantic and Classical ballets, is also the former director of Choreographic Miniatures, the St. Petersburg ballet company of her late husband, Leonid Jacobson, the leading iconoclastic Soviet ballet choreographer. A former soloist with the Kirov Ballet, Irina Jacobson was the last protégée of Agrippina Vaganova, the influential teacher at the State Academic Theatre for Opera and Ballet (GATOB, later the Kirov), the woman who systematized the teaching of ballet for the new era of Soviet ballet, and who recognized and inspired Irina Jacobson’s gifts as an exacting and inspired ballet pedagogue.

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