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The Tajik Dancer

Malika Kalantarova, a dancer specializing in the dance forms of Tajikistan, was born there on this date in 1950. She began her dance career in 1965 with Lola Dance Ensemble and then with the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Tajik Philharmonic. Kalantarova achieved international fame as a folk and traditional-form dancer throughout the USSR and in Japan, […]

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Dancing in Bethlehem: A Diary

by Nicole Bindler This is a revised and much-expanded version of a piece first published by thINKingDANCE June 9 (2015) I arrive in Tel Aviv at 2:30 a.m. I get through security without a hitch. I was advised to say that I’m going to Israel to hang out with friends because many people (including Diyar’s […]

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May 13: Fred Hellerman and the Weavers

Fred Hellerman, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and co-founder of the Weavers with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Ronnie Gilbert (also Jewish), was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1927. Hellerman taught himself to play guitar while serving with the Coast Guard during World War II, then became involved with People’s Songs, a progressive organization founded […]

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January 21: The Moiseyev Ballet

Igor Moiseyev, founder of the Moiseyev Dance Company, was born in Kiev, Ukraine on this date in 1906. Several Israeli and American Jewish sources claim him as a “member of the tribe,” although most biographies and obituaries (he lived to 101) obscure this. Moiseyev danced with the Bolshoi Ballet from 1924 to 1939 and choreographed […]

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February 26: The Father of Israeli Folk Dance

Fred Berk (Fritz Berger), “Mr. Israeli Folk Dance,” died on this day in 1980. He was a modern dancer in Vienna who emigrated from Austria in 1938 as the Nazis moved in. Berk was the founder and long-time director of the Jewish Dance Division at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Arthritis stuck him […]

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