Lectures, seminars and embodied workshops facilitated at Yale University, City College, Queens College, Whitman College, Malta Festival, in Poznan, Poland, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, and the 14th St. Y, NYC
Choreographing the Zionist Body -”Orientalizing” Ashkenazi Jewish Bodies
Israeli folk dances have been choreographed since the 1930s by secular Ashkenazi women in Palestine, to embody Zionist ideology. Their use of European dances and the appropriation of steps from many sources- Jews of Middle Eastern origin, Hasidic communities and Palestinian Druze, Bedouin, and Fellahin- reflect the socialist aspirations and colonial tactics at Israel's formation. While offering practitioners a sense of liberation, collective connection, and affiliation with Israel, they can also be studied to trace the contradictions and power dynamics emerging within Israeli society and in Palestine/Israel. We learn dances from the cannon and read primary and secondary sources that highlight the dances' context and impact.
Embodying the “original Hebraic roots” of Christianity - Dance Scripture and Israeli folk dance in American Christian Zionism
Evangelical Christian Zionism has grown to tremendous influence in the US since the 1960s. Seeing in the modern state of Israel the fulfillment of ancient prophecies, the use of Jewish and Israeli style rituals have become a common practice among groups such as Pentecostal, Evangelical, Messianic Jews, Jews for Jesus, and the so called Hebrew Roots movement- their missionary and the political organizing. This seminar explores the theological and sociological underpinnings of “davidic”,“messianic”, “praise” and “worship” dancing, especially how the secularization of scripture by early Ashkenazi Zionist choreographers and musicians is appropriated and returned to a religious framework to provides a sanctioned platform for embodied experience, at the expense of Palestinian erasure. The workshop includes reading, viewing christian zionist instructional videos, and clips from Hadar Ahuvia’s artistic response in her work “Everything you have is yours?”.