Dance: ZviDance/Dabke

“I was born and raised in northern Israel,” says ZviDance founder Zvi Gotheiner, whose modern dance company appears this weekend for the second time in Cincinnati as part of ZviDance/Dabke, presented b

“I was born and raised in northern Israel,” says ZviDance founder Zvi Gotheiner, whose modern dance company appears this weekend for the second time in Cincinnati as part of ZviDance/Dabke, presented by Contemporary Dance Theater. 


The 2012 work for four couples, which premiered to strong reviews from prominent critics, draws from the rich dance and music traditions of the Levant. 

“Dabke is [essentially] a line dance,” says Zvi (everyone seems to call him Zvi) by phone from New York City, where he has lived, danced and choreographed since 1988. 

He first learned to do the energetic community dance on a kibbutz, one of the traditional Israeli settlements organized under collectivist principles, where he was brought up. 

“This piece is overtly connected to the Middle East,” Zvi says. “I wanted to do a piece that put a light on the wonderful culture, specifically coming from Israel. Most of the Middle East narrative is seen through the prism of terrorism. I hope Dabke will generate a discussion that will bring people closer. In the end, we are all doing similar things.” 

ZviDance/Dabke, presented by Contemporary Dance Theater, takes place Friday and Saturday at the Aronoff Center. Tickets: cdt-dance.org.

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