Since this past February, Winger contributor and independent dance blogger Deborah Friedes and I have been emailing and commenting on each others’ posts after Katie Glasner (my dance professor at Barnard and Deborah’s teacher at Princeton Ballet School) suggested we get in touch. Deborah just completed a Fulbright scholarship studying contemporary dance in Israel, which she blogged about in depth on the Winger and her own dance blog, along with podcasts on Israel Seen. I loved learning about her interactions with myriad dance companies, choreographers, and performers, and she wrote so articulately that her posts were truly a joy to read.
After months of communicating online, we finally had the opportunity to meet since Deborah is back in the US for a few weeks – visiting family, friends, and unpacking – before moving back to Israel next month. The conversation flowed for nearly two hours as we learned more about each others’ dance backgrounds, compared the state of the arts in Israel and the US, discussed our favorite choreographers, techniques, and companies, shared ideas about broadening dance audiences, and reflected on our own involvement in the dance world and what we hope to be doing in the future. Among other plans, Deborah is in the process of developing a website devoted exclusively to documenting dance in Israel, which is appropriately titled Dance in Israel. Check back for updated information as well as audio files, photographs, and videos. I think it will be a valuable addition to the online dance community and a unique tool for connecting people to the vibrant dance scene in Israel.
Chatting with Deborah was a delight and I’m so happy we had a chance to meet in person before she returns to Tel Aviv. Hopefully we’ll meet again soon (possibly in Israel!), but until then, I’m looking forward to reading her Winger posts and following the development of Dance in Israel. Shalom, Deborah!