Israel Institute Visiting Artists Program to bring 10 Leading Artists to U.S. Campuses

“A Sick Day for Morris McGee” – Directed by Ayelet Golan. Performed by Maayan Resnick. Photo by Dor Kedmi via Israel Institute.

The Israel Institute’s eleventh cohort of its Visiting Artists Program will bring ten Israeli artists to teach at top universities across the United States during the 2019–2020 academic year. Among these artists are renowned theater artist Ruth Kanner at The Juilliard School; Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, internationally-acclaimed author of Waking Lions at UCLA; and award-winning choreographer, dancer, and musician Dafi Altabeb at Emory University.

The Visiting Artists Program is an initiative of the Israel Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for university students to learn about modern Israel. The program brings outstanding Israeli filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, writers, theater practitioners, and visual artists to leading universities in North America for teaching residencies. Beyond engaging with students, visiting artists share contemporary Israeli culture with American communities.

The 2019-2020 Israel Institute Visiting Artists include:

Ruth Kanner is a theater artist based in Tel Aviv who directs and conducts workshops worldwide. Her company, the Ruth Kanner Theatre Group, specializes in adapting literary and documentary texts for the stage, interweaving storytelling, physical theater, and visual imagery. Kanner is a full professor in the Department of Theatre Arts at Tel Aviv University, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate students. Her focus is on exploring new theatrical poetics. The Juilliard School, Drama Division, Spring 2020.

Matan Berkowitz is an interdisciplinary artist and entrepreneur whose work lives at the nexus of art, technology, and positive impact. His award-winning inventions have been exhibited at museums, galleries, and events worldwide. These inventions translate physical signals such as brainwaves, heartbeats, and movements into music, and turn everyday objects into musical instruments. As founder of Shift, a company specializing in impact-driven innovation, Berkowitz codeveloped solutions to enable paralyzed, amputee, blind, and autistic musicians to express themselves in new ways. He regularly speaks and performs on stages such as TED, Google, Microsoft and Forbes. California Institute of the Arts, Herb Alpert School of Music, Spring 2020.

Oryan Yohananis an award-winning multi-disciplinary choreographer, dancer and improvisation performance artist who began her career as a principal dancer in the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Since 2013, she has created more than 11 multi-disciplinary performance projects, many of which explore gender roles and expectations, including her solo shows I Dare U and Shoot Me. She has been awarded three scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and, in 2014, was awarded the Ministry of Culture and Sport’s Best Performing Artist prize. California Institute of the Arts, School of Theater, Spring 2020.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen is an internationally-acclaimed novelist and screenwriter. Waking Lions, her first novel published in the United States, received the 2017 JQWingate Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2018. It has been published in 17 countries. She received Israel’s prestigious Sapir Prize for best debut novel for One Night Markovitch, which has since been adapted into a stage play. Her third novel, The Liar, will be published in English in September 2019 by Little, Brown and Company. Gundar-Goshen worked as a clinical psychologist at Shalvata Hospital for Mental Health. She is a member of the Israeli civil rights movement and an occasional contributor to The Guardian and BBC Cultural Frontline. University of California, Los Angeles, English Department, Fall 2019.

Dory Manor is an esteemed Israeli poet, translator, and editor. He received Israel’s Yehuda Amichai Prize for poetry (2015); the Ministry of Culture Prize for Best Literary Editor (2011); the Tchernikovsky Prize for Best Translations of World Masterpieces (2008); and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Writers (2007 and 2018). Founder and editor of the literary magazine Oh!, he also co-edited the first Hebrew LGBTQ poetry anthology (2015). Manor taught Hebrew literature and translation at the INALCO University of Paris and at the Institut National de Sciences Politiques from 1996–2006. In Israel, he teaches poetry, editing, and translation at Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He edited many works by Israeli prize-winning poets and writers. In 2017, he received his PhD in translation studies and comparative literature from INALCO University of Paris. Stanford University, Comparative Literature, Spring 2020.

Ayelet Golan is a theater director, puppeteer and performer. Her work has been presented at festivals and venues across the globe, including Israel, Europe and the United States. She also directs and teaches in one of Israel’s most prestigious junior and high school theater departments. With extensive experience as an acting coach, creative process facilitator and dramaturg, Golan leads workshops and master classes in theater, object theater and live animation for puppeteers and actors. University of Central Florida, School of Performing Arts, Fall 2019.

Yoav Shutan-Goshen writes for film, television and theater. He received a BA in law and humanities from Tel Aviv University and completed the screenwriting program at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School. Formerly a journalist for Yedioth Ahronoth and The Marker, he wrote the Israeli drama series Kipat Barzel (2017) and the feature film Mekulalim (2018). An accomplished playwright, he has worked with the Gesher, Beit Lessin and Beersheba Repertory Theaters. His first novel, One Woman, One Time (2017), was a best-seller. He teaches at Sapir College. University of California, Los Angeles, Theater and Film Studies, Fall 2019.

Noa Shavit is a Tel Aviv-based performer, choreographer and dance instructor who trained at the Ga’aton Professional Dance Workshop. She has performed with Sharon Fridman, Anat Grigorio, Emmanuel Gat, Dede Dance Company, Nimrod Freed/Tami Dance Company, Tamar Borer, Anat Katz and Erez Maayan and Noa Dar Dance Group. In 2018, Shavit premiered the solo Ingiven as part of Tmuna Theater’s Intimidance Festival. She is the artistic director of the Contemporary Dance Program in Haifa. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, Fall 2019.

Dafi Altabeb is an award-winning choreographer, dancer and musician who founded and directs The Dafi Dance Group. She is a recipient of the 2012, 2013 and 2016 Excellence Award for Young Choreographers from the Israeli Ministry of Culture; the 2014 Rosenblum Award for Excellence from the Municipality of Tel Aviv; and the Israeli Ministry of Culture Excellence Award for ensemble performance for her piece It’s Now. It’s Never. Altabeb received her BEd and teaching certificate from the Kibbutz College of Education. Emory University, Dance and Movement Studies Program, Fall 2019.

Lilach Dekel-Avneri is a director, curator, translator and dramaturg. The recipient of the prestigious Rosenblum Prize for Performance Art in 2016, she holds an MFA (cum laude) in writing, dramaturgy and directing from the Department of Theatre at Tel Aviv University. Since 2017, she has served as the artistic director of MiDarom Festival in Ofakim and, since 2016, as coordinator of the EURODRAM Hebrew committee. As founder and artistic director of the Pathos-Mathos Company, her works have received Golden Hedgehog Awards and are described as “theatrical events with poetic and surreal qualities that offer an alternative to conventional theatre.” University of Southern California, School of Dramatic Arts, Fall 2019.

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