Beyond Gaga


In the past few years Israel has consistently produced some of the most exciting, innovative and unexpected choreographers working in the field today. As a result, contemporary dance is one of Israel’s most respected and innovative exports. Under the influence of Ohad Naharin’s signature movement language gaga and the worldwide success of the Batsheva Dance Company, a new generation of Israeli choreographers has been making a name for themselves in the contemporary dance world. Join renowned young choreographers Deganit Shemy, Saar Harari and Andrea Miller as they share excerpts of their work, discuss their methods and explore the meaning of contemporary movement in relation to historical conceptions of the Jewish Body. Moderated by Elizabeth Zimmer.

Beyond Gaga: Contemporary Israeli Dance and the Reinvention of the Jewish Body will be held on October 22, 2009 at 8PM at the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave @ 76th St. Tickets are $10 and are available by phone at 646-505-5708 or online at

This event is presented in partnership with Nextbook Inc., as part of Jewish Body Week – a series of events in New York City exploring the subjects raised in Melvin Konner’s 2009 book, The Jewish Body. To see a full schedule of Jewish Body Week events, please visit


LeeSaar The Company was established in Israel in 2000 by the actress and writer Lee Sher and The Dancer/Choreographer Saar Harari. The company uses the different disciplines and training of Theater and Dance to create original dance and theater performances. The company members are from England, Germany, Italy, Taiwan, the United States and Israel. In 2005, Lee and Saar Received the Six Point Fellowship for 2007-2009. They received the Guggenheim fellowship in Choreography for 2008 and the New York Foundation for the Art Fellowship for 2008.

After arriving in New York, Deganit Shemy gathered a group of five core dancers to form Deganit Shemy & Company. Deganit Shemy received a space grant from 2005-2007 at 92nd St Y and artist residencies at Movement Research and Dance New Amsterdam. Through these residencies, the company was able to create and perform “Dualog” and “Queentet”. In 2007, the company went on to perform “Queentet” in Fresh Tracks at Dance Theater Workshop and “Iodine (Yod)”, the beginning of an evening length work, developed in residency at Tribeca Performing Arts Center and Dance Theater Workshop . Carla Peterson then invited the company to perform an excerpt of “Queen-tet” at Dance Theater Workshop’s Gala at The Joyce in May, 2007. The Company was invited by Performance Space 122 to perform the piece IODINE (YOD) for two full length evening engagements on January 29th, 2008 and from February 6th-10th 2008. They were recently granted a residency to develop a new work, Arena, at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The BAC has also partnered with the Inaugural Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota, Florida, to commission an evening-length version of Arena to be developed during a two-week residency in Florida followed by a performance at the festival October 7th -11th, 2009.

Founded in 2006 by choreographer Andrea Miller, Gallim Dance is a New York City based company. The mission of Gallim Dance is to create, to play inside the imagination, to find juxtapositions of the mind and body that resonate in the soul, to investigate our limitations and pleasures, and to realize the endless human capacity for inspiration. Gallim Dance burst onto the New York dance scene in its first year. Gallim’s debut performance in May 2007 at Joyce SoHo Presents caught the attention of the New York City dance community bringing momentum to the burgeoning group of artists. The company has gone on to perform in many of New York’s premiere dance venues including Jacob’s Pillow, Joyce SoHo, Movement Research at Judson Church Dance Theater Workshop, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, The Juilliard Theater, Battery Park, and The Flea Theater.


The Foundation for Jewish Culture invests in creative individuals in order to nurture a vibrant and enduring Jewish identity, culture and community.

The Foundation continues to identify and support remarkable artists and scholars whose work explores the complex fabric of Jewish life. Our grantees ensure that Jewish culture continues to be contemporary and profound.

The Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Dance Initiatives are made possible through the support of the Pearl Zeltzer Fund for Jewish Choreography.

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