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ASU Hosts a Conference Exploring the Impact of the Jewish Experience on Dance

Adam McKinney's HaMapah/The Map. Photo by Lafotographeuse, Courtesy McKinney

When the Bible spoke of the "ingathering of the exiles," it didn't have dance in mind. Yet, this month, more than 100 dancers, choreographers and scholars from around the world will gather at Arizona State University to celebrate the impact of Jews and the Jewish experience on dance. From hora to hip hop, social justice to somatics, ballet to Gaga, the three-day event (Oct. 13–15) is "deliberately inclusive," says conference organizer and ASU professor Naomi Jackson.


Jews and Jewishness in the Dance World explores the impact of Jewish identity, culture, religious practice and history, as well as Israel, on the dance world. Sessions cover topics including Jewish bodies and the reimagining of technique; Jewish dance artists working with community and social justice; trauma and the Holocaust; and immigration, rootlessness and the diaspora.

The conference features approximately 40 panels, presentations, lectures and movement workshops, three keynotes, and a performance featuring modern choreographers Sara Pearson, Adam McKinney and Nicole Bindler, and hip-hop artist Ephrat Asherie. Liz Lerman and Wendy Perron will emcee, and Judith Brin Ingber, groundbreaking scholar on Jewish and Israeli dance, will be honored.

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