Premiere: c.a.t.a.m.o.n Dance Group

Dancer Rand Zeid Taha and choreographer Elad Schechter of c.a.t.a.m.o.n. Dance Group collaborate on a performance across borders. Performed live on stage in Jerusalem where both were born, Premiere “looks for a moment when everything will freeze and it will finally become possible to breathe.” The pair seek out how dance can become an international language which can bridge cultural differences and be used as a tangible tool for social change, particularly between their two religions.

After the performance stay for a conversation with the dancer and choreographer live from Jerusalem.

Elad Schechter is a Jerusalem native dancer and choreographer and a graduate of the High School for the Arts in Jerusalem. He served in the IDF Theatre Department and danced in many professional companies before founding the c.a.t.a.m.o.n Dance Group in Jerusalem in 2021. He also founded the annual ‘From Jaffa to Agripas’ Festival in Jerusalem’s famous Machne Yehuda Market.

Rand Zeid Taha is a Palestinian Dancer from Jerusalem. She graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. A member of the Academy’s Ensemble and its excellence performance program, Taha won 3rd place her senior year in the annual ‘Gertrude Strauss Choreography Competition’. She was also awarded the Henny Jurriens Summer Intensive Scholarship in Amsterdam. Taha is performing with c.a.t.a.m.o.n Dance Group and took part in the CINARS Biennale 2018, in Montreal.

This program is presented in partnership with the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University, and sponsored by the Murray Galinson San Diego-Israel Initiative and UC Berkeley.

Ephrat Asherie: UnderScored (work in progress)

In UnderScored, Ephrat Asherie and her company of dancers explore the forms of club dancing that arose in New York during the 1970s and 1980s as part of the house music scene. The work explores the almost utopian panracial/pansexual scene at the Paradise Garage and other popular venues in the midst of the HIV crisis, which heavily affected the LGBT community and and communities of color. The work will feature testimonials and performances from survivors of the original scene.

The work is commissioned by ArtPower at UC San Diego along with the Guggenheim Museum, the Momentary at Crystal Bridges, and the Yard. The complete work will be performed as part of ArtPower’s 2021–22 season.

ArtTalk with Ephrat Asherie

Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie is a New York City-based b-girl, dancer, and choreographer and a 2016 Bessie Award Winner for Innovative Achievement in Dance. Asherie has received numerous awards to support her work including Dance Magazine’s Inaugural Harkness Promise Award, the Jacob’s Pillow Fellowship at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU, and a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. Last year, she received a National Dance Project award to support the development and touring of her newest work, Odeon. Asherie is also the recipient of a Mondo Cane! commission from Dixon Place, a Creative Development Residency from Jacob’s Pillow, Workspace and Extended Life Residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and two residencies through the CUNY Dance Initiative. Asherie is a regular guest artist with Dorrance Dance and has worked and collaborated with Doug Elkins, Rennie Harris, Bill Irwin, David Parsons, Gus Solomons Jr., and Buddha Stretch, among others. She earned her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in Italian and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she researched the vernacular jazz dance roots of contemporary street and club dances. Asherie has been on faculty at Wesleyan University and set pieces for students at Smith College, SUNY Brockport, Alvin Ailey Dance Center, University of Texas Rio Grande, Old Dominion University and teaches at Broadway Dance Center. Asherie is a co-founding member of the all-female house dance collective, MAWU and and is forever grateful to NYC’s underground dance community for inspiring her to pursue a life as an artist.

Dance Camera West: Selected winners from the 2020 Dance Film Festival

The Dance Camera West (DCW) 2020 touring program featuring the top 15 award-winning dance films from the 2020 DCW festival—which screened World, US, and Los Angeles premieres of over 50 international dance films. DCW 2020 presents the best examples of the expanded possibilities of dance beyond what is presented on stage. Films from Asia, Europe, and the Americas, represent dancers young and old, tell stories and show new visions of the body as the moving image.

The film festival is curated by DCW’s Artist/Executive Director Kelly Hargraves, one of DCW’s original co-founders, and a dance-filmmaker herself. Since 2000, DCW has connected diverse cultures and environments through its exploration of dance on screen, bringing hundreds of challenging and provocative films from around the globe. The film screening will be followed by a Q&A with Kelly Hargraves, invited filmmakers, and festival curators.