Thursday, November 5
Thursday, November 5
Katz, Emily Alice. Bringing Zion Home. Israel in American Jewish Culture, 1948-1967. Albany: SUNY Press, 2015.
Bringing Zion Home examines the role of culture in the establishment of the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel in the immediate postwar decades. Many American Jews first encountered Israel through their roles as tastemakers, consumers, and cultural impresarios—that is, by writing and reading about Israel; dancing Israeli folk dances; promoting and purchasing Israeli goods; and presenting Israeli art and music. It was precisely by means of these cultural practices, argues Emily Alice Katz, that American Jews insisted on Israel’s “natural” place in American culture, a phenomenon that continues to shape America’s relationship with Israel today.
Katz shows that American Jews’ promotion and consumption of Israel in the cultural realm was bound up with multiple agendas, including the quest for Jewish authenticity in a postimmigrant milieu and the desire of upwardly mobile Jews to polish their status in American society. And, crucially, as influential cultural and political elites positioned “culture” as both an engine of American dominance and as a purveyor of peace in the Cold War, many of Israel’s American Jewish impresarios proclaimed publicly that cultural patronage of and exchange with Israel advanced America’s interests in the Middle East and helped spread the “American way” in the postwar world. Bringing Zion Home is the first book to shine a light squarely upon the role and importance of Israel in the arts, popular culture, and material culture of postwar America.
Emily Alice Katz teaches history at the University of California, Irvine.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1. Introduction: Postwar American Jewry Reconsidered
2. Before Exodus: Writing Israel for an American Audience
3. Hora Hootenannies and Yemenite Hoedowns: Israeli Folk Dance in America
4. A Consuming Passion: Israeli Goods in American Jewish Culture
5. Cultural Emissaries and the Culture Explosion: Introducing Israeli Art and Music
Spiegel, Nina S. Embodying Hebrew Culture. Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2013.
A panorama of Israeli modern dance and a unique window into Israeli society and history. With vivid performances from many of Israel’s most innovative contemporary choreographers.
This extraordinary documentary tells the story of Israel’s innovative dance history, exploring how the need to move, shift, and be in constant motion has produced generations of great dancers and choreographers. Through insightful interviews with leading choreographers, including Ohad Naharin, Rami Be’er, and Yasmeen Godder, spectacular performances, and rich archival material, the film traces Israeli dance back to its roots – from the hora circles of the kibbutz to the influences of Martha Graham and the avant-garde – to reveal how dance has become a vital form of expression in Israel today.
Directed by: Gabriel Bibliowicz, 2012 52 min.. In Hebrew with English subtitles
Post-screening discussion with art historian and professor of Israeli visual culture, Anat Gilboa, and Melissa Melpignano, Ph.D. student in Culture and Performance at the UCLA Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance, focusing on contemporary Israeli choreography.
RSVP in link.
We are very pleased to screen this film in conjunction with the Batsheva Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary performances at Royce Hall (Nov 1,2), presented by the UCLA Center for the Art of Performance and co-sponsored by the Y&S Nazarian Center. For further information, visit cap.ucla.edu.
Public parking available in UCLA Parking Structure 3. Enter the campus at Hilgard and Wyton, and make an immediate right turn onto Charles E. Young Dr. East. Signs will direct you to Parking Structure 3, “pay-per-space” parking. For additional directions to campus, visit http://www.ucla.edu/map.
Cost : Event is free and open to the public. RSVP is required.
Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014): Table of Contents
The Israeli left between culture and politics: Tzavta and Mapam, 1956–1973
Center for Israel Studies
Featuring Israeli choreographer
Additional performance by the dancers of Company E
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 7:30pm
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, American University
You may RSVP now for Thursday’s Katzen Arts Center dance performance at this link: http://www.american.edu/cas/israelstudies/rsvp/rsvp2.cfm
Spiegel, Nina S. “Constructing the City of Tel Aviv: Urban Space, Physical Culture and the Natural and Built Environment.” Rethinking History 16.4 (2012): 497-516.
This article investigates the intersection of space, culture and the moving body in Tel Aviv during the British Mandate of Palestine. Established in 1909 as a garden suburb of Jaffa, by the 1920s Tel Aviv had become the dynamic cultural and economic center of the Jewish community in Palestine. The culture of Tel Aviv was highly influenced by its natural setting but, as the ‘first Hebrew city’, it was also impacted by the processes of urbanization. Through analysis of a variety of developments in the physical culture arena, this article uncovers how the burgeoning metropolis both drew from and shaped the physical environment.
St John, Graham. “Freak Media: Vibe Tribes, Sampledelic Outlaws and Israeli Psytrance.” Continuum 26.3 (2012): 437-447.
As an electronic dance music movement, for over 20 years, psytrance (psychedelic trance) has been a context by which sonic, visual, pharmacological and virtual media have facilitated the expression of interwoven narratives, experimental modes of performance, and the experience of intense sociality in scenes the world-over. A key theme adopted within this movement is the ‘tribe’, the discourse around which is multivalent, though here I focus on the transgressive dimensions of psytrance to which one is attached as a member of a tribe apart. The article provides detailed examination of the outlaw figure and sensibility in psytrance, illustrating how cultural producers – e.g. DJ-producers, label owners, scene writers, event management – facilitate the party vibe, and a distinct ‘psychedelic. or ‘freak’ identity via this trope. Among the chief icons of performance, prestige and tribalism sampled within psytrance music and culture, the outlaw is adapted from popular cultural sources (especially cinema) and redeployed as a means of dissolving and performing difference. The exploration of the outlaw conceit in what I call nano-media amplified by the producers of psytrance music illustrates how a psychedelic fiction is generated. Specific, although not exclusive, attention is given to Israeli producers, which offers comment on psytrance in Israel where this music is considered popular.
Rossen, Rebcca. “Uneasy Duets: Contemporary American Dances about Israel and the Mideast Crisis,” The Drama Review 55.3 (2011): 40-49
Jewish choreographers have consistently created dances that embody the shifting role of Israel in American Jewish life. Countering the Zionism of mid-century dances about Israel, contemporary Jewish American choreographers such as Liz Lerman and Kristen Smiarowski actively question the ideology of unconditional support, deftly grapple with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and situate performance as an opportunity for activism, inquiry, and debate.
Rowe, Nicholas. “Dance and Political Credibility: The Appropriation of Dabkeh by Zionism, Pan-Arabism, and Palestinian Nationalism.” Middle East Journal 65.3 (2011): 363-380.
This article examines how the rural folkdance dabkeh has, in the last century, been appropriated and reinvented as a tradition in order to construct the imagined communities of Zionism, pan-Arabism, and Palestinian Nationalism within Palestine/Israel. This appropriation has led to extensive debates and suppositions on the source, meanings, and cultural ownership of dabkeh. The following historical narratives, emerging from interviews with dance practitioners and dance advocates in the West Bank, Israel, and Lebanon, and from literature in libraries and archives in the West Bank, Israel, and Great Britain, draw attention to the salient links between dance and politics and the multiple ways in which collective identities can be constructed and deconstructed. These histories further raise questions about how local cultural autonomy and sustainability within the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been affected by the process of political appropriation.
Ingber, Judith Brin, ed. Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance. Detroit, Mich.: 2011.
In Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance, choreographer, dancer, and dance scholar Judith Brin Ingber collects wide-ranging essays and many remarkable photographs to explore the evolution of Jewish dance through two thousand years of Diaspora, in communities of amazing variety and amid changing traditions. Ingber and other eminent scholars consider dancers individually and in community, defining Jewish dance broadly to encompass religious ritual, community folk dance, and choreographed performance. Taken together, this wide range of expression illustrates the vitality, necessity, and continuity of dance in Judaism.
This volume combines dancers’ own views of their art with scholarly examinations of Jewish dance conducted in Europe, Israel, other Middle East areas, Africa, and the Americas. In seven parts, Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance considers Jewish dance artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; the dance of different Jewish communities, including Hasidic, Yemenite, Kurdish, Ethiopian, and European Jews in many epochs; historical and current Israeli folk dance; and the contrast between Israeli and American modern and post-modern theater dance. Along the way, contributors see dance in ancient texts like the Song of Songs, the Talmud, and Renaissance-era illuminated manuscripts, and plumb oral histories, Holocaust sources, and their own unique views of the subject. A selection of 182 illustrations, including photos, paintings, and film stills, round out this lively volume. Many of the illustrations come from private collections and have never before been published, and they represent such varied sources as a program booklet from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and archival photos from the Israel Government Press Office.
Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance threads together unique source material and scholarly examinations by authors from Europe, Israel, and America trained in sociology, anthropology, history, cultural studies, Jewish studies, dance studies, as well as art, theater, and dance criticism. Enthusiasts of dance and performance art and a wide range of university students will enjoy this significant volume.
Contributors: Gaby Aldor, Felix Fibich, Zvi Friedhaber, Jill Gellerman, Ayalah Goren-Kadman, Yehuda Hyman, Judith Brin Ingber, Naomi M. Jackson, Elke Kaschl, Sara Levi-Tanai, Dawn Lille, Giora Manor, Josh Perelman, Dina Roginsky, Janice Ross, Barbara Sparti, Nina S. Spiegel, Shalom Staub