Highlights of Shorashim 2014 and Dances Taught


The 23rd annual Shorashim held August 30 through September 1 at the Bridge for Dance studio on Broadway in New York City.  Shorashim 2014 featured guest choreographer Amnon Shauli, together with teachers Ruth Goodman and Danny Pollock, in what many described as one of the best Shorashim Israeli Folk Dance weekends ever (if not the best). 


Amnon Shauli was delightful in the exuberant and expert way he presented a wide variety of Israeli folk dances he created, mostly to well-known Israeli songs and even one to music he composed together with the lyrics.   Amnon endeared himself to everyone with the personal stories he told about the dances he created as well as his unpretentious and gracious personality.   It was truly a pleasure to have Amnon as our guest choreographer and those who came to Shorashim were unanimous in their praise of him and his dances.


Most of the dances Amnon Shauli taught at Shorashim were selected because they are still being danced in the nostalgia repertoire.   These are highlighted in RED below, but it does not necessarily mean that those not highlighted are not danced. [1]


Amnon Shauli taught the following of his dances at Shorashim:

p - partner 


Shorashim 2014 commemorated the 70th anniversary of the first Dalia Festival (1944), where the Israeli folk dance movement was started by the women pioneers who were the major leaders as well as choreographers for a whole generation.   They included Israel Prize winners Yardena Cohen and Gurit Kadman, the “mother” of the Israeli folk dance movement.  The most prolific choreographer was Rivka Sturman, who created most of the Israeli folk dances during the formative years.  Other major contributors were Leah Bergstein and Sara Levi-Tanai.


At Shorashim 2014, segments of the workshops & evening sessions were dedicated to the women pioneer founders of IFD. We were indeed fortunate to have the expert knowledge of Ruth Goodman and Danny Pollock, working together as a team, which they applied to teaching some of the dances created by the "mothers" of IFD.  In keeping with the theme, dances of other women choreographers, who followed in the footsteps of the "mothers", were also included, such as Tamar Alyagor and Shoshana Kopelevich.  A few dances by male choreographers were thrown in for balance -- lest the workshops appear sexist.    


Dances Taught by Ruth Goodman:

* with Danny Uziel

c/p - circle/partner


Dances Taught by Danny Pollock:


At the evening parties many other dances of the "mothers" were done, including some unique and/or challenging ones such as Ozi by Rivka Sturman and Ken Yovdu by Gurit Kadman.


A total of 31 dances were taught over the four day weekend.  A special expression of appreciation goes to Amnon Shauli, a remarkable choreographer and teacher whose beautiful dances were loved by all, as well as to the dynamic duo, Ruth Goodman and Danny Pollock for their energetic contributions at the daily workshops and the fun-filled nightly parties.


Many people contributed to a successful Shorashim weekend and it is difficult to name them all. Most notable are Ben Hole, who has been the creative Shorashim videographer for 23 years, Mike Schatzberg our great sound maven and Rabbi Lisa Vernon for making sure we were well fed as well as leading the Havdalah ceremony and, of course, Anita Tierny who welcomed everyone  graciously when they arrived to register, keeping everything in order and even taking time out to help Amnon teach one of his partner dances (which she learned on the spot -- but looked like she always knew it).


Dance leaders whose presence over the weekend is appreciated include (in alphabetical order) Moshe Eskayo, Honey Goldfein, Sasha Gottlieb, Miriam Handler, Ben Hole, Christine Meyers, Peter Smolash and Danny Uziel.


And last, but not least, are the dancers who came to our Broadway ​studio from as far north as Canada and as far south as Florida -- as far west as California and as far east as Israel.


We thank the teachers, volunteers, leaders and dancers for making our 23rd year of Shorashim a truly memorable one.


A video will be available from Ben Hole <ben.hole@verizon.net>, and can be ordered directly from him for $25 (the rate goes down to $40 for two, which could include a DVD from prior years -- multiple years have further discounts).


1 Amnon Shauli’s dances that are still in the nostalgia repertoire were identified with the help of Yair Bino, who runs a wonderful and popular Oneg Shabbat with mostly nostalgia dances of all types at Kibbutz Ginegar the last Friday of every month as well as a weekly nostalgia session at Kibbutz Regba. Confirmation of these dances (plus one not included) was obtained from Yoav Sidi, one of Israel's nostalgia mavens who does an annual session on rarely done older dances at the Karmiel Festival and runs a weekly session focusing on such dances at his Kibbutz Ramat Yochanan (where Eliyahu Gamliel, Lea Bergstein and Matityahu Shelem lived).