ZviDance exists to share with audiences the choreographic vision and movement vocabulary of Israeli-born Artistic Director, Zvi Gotheiner. Each piece defines a unique set of relationships and experiences, boldly addressing the depths of the human experience. A collaborative alliance among artists, the company’s stirring work celebrates diversity by melding movement genres into the distinct dance vocabulary that constantly evolves and refuses to succumb to dialectics of the medium. The company is shaped by a collaborative model of creation, involving the ensemble and designers from the initial research phase. In the last 20 years of existence, ZviDance has received critical praise as well as stable funding for its artistic projects.
A conversation with Artistic Director, Zvi Gotheiner:
1) What or who inspired you to want to be an artist?
My first mentor Gertrud Kraus. She opened the door for me to making art and a possible identity as an Artist.
2) What was your creative journey that has brought you to where you are in your career today?
I was first a musician and played the violin during my teens. Then, I saw the Bat Sheva Dance Company’s performance and was inspired to be a dancer. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to dance master works from choreographers like Martha Graham, Glen Tetley, Donald McKayle, Kurt Jooss, and Eliot Feld–to name a few. I began exploring choreographing myself, and took quite a time to exercise the form. I formed ZviDance in 1989, and, since then, I have been having the time of my life choreographing and collaborating with the amazing artists of the company!
3) What do you need as an artist today?
Money and infrastructure.
4) What creative project are you working on now?
I am about to premiere a new work titled Surveillance, a multi-media work that explores our increasing dependency on technologies to feel secure. The piece will premiere June 11 – 14 at New York Live Arts.
6) What does it mean to you to be an Israeli artist?
It means that in spite of your current address, you are always connected to that tormented land, and with a raw nerve. Although my work is not always dealing overtly with Israeli themes, I think there is an undercurrent that is connected to my upbringing, the landscapes as well as to our ancestors.
7) What does it mean to you to have an organization like the America Israel Cultural Foundation supporting Israeli culture in the past 75 years?
Having AICF’s support means the world to me. I was one of the young artists supported by AICF at a crucial time in my life, a few decades ago, and AICF’s support gave me the emotional confidence and logistical backing to make the dream of becoming an artist one day a reality.