Sharona Florsheim is a choreographer and an Improvisation artist. Her work has been presented in major festivals and venues in Israel and Europe. Through the years she has collaborated musicians, video artists and theatre directors from Israel and around the world, to create her unique and poignant style of work.
Since its establishment in 2009, Sharona is the artistic director of “Noga Dance Company”: a unique professional framework for religious women choreographers and dancers to create and perform. She has also recently co-founded the “Impulse” improvisation ensemble where she initiates, creates and performs artistic and community projects in Israel.
Sharona teaches choreography and improvisation in dance colleges. She also guides workshops to students from other disciplines and commercial companies exploring the universal features of creative thinking through movement and ways to incorporate physical experience and knowledge into learning and decision making processes.
Last week Sharona Florsheim brought her talented Israeli dance troupe to Newtown, Johannesburg. Florsheim is a Israeli choreographer and an improvisation artist and her work has been presented in major festivals across Africa and Europe. Sharona arrived in South Africa and with her dancers spent a week at the "Moving into Dance" college teaching and demonstrating new forms of dance.
The dance company also debuted on Friday after evening services at the Bet David Shul in Morningside. The audience was captivated and intrigued by the new form of improvisatonal dancing. Sharona and her dancers also answered positive questions by the engaged congregants.
We sat down with Sharona and asked her some questions on her experiences and advice on the South African dance scene:
1. How is it to
come to South Africa and do a play here, Did you have any preconceived ideas
before you arrived?
I have to say I was quite naïve about
performing The Big Game in Africa all together. We started our tour in the HIFA
festival in Harare and the first performance was a bit of a shock to all of us.
We realized that there was a gap of expectation as what is dance, that we
needed to bridge and we can't take the communication with the audience for
granted. We also realized how deeply the Israeli culture was embedded in the
performance. By the time we arrived in South Africa we were already aware of these
issues although we knew it was going to be different in the context of the
intense three days workshop we gave in Moving Into Dance Mophatong (MIDM).
2. Being Israeli how do you feel you can
make a South African audience connect with your dance/play?
The Big Game communicates on both levels the
local and the universal. On the local level it contains information that only
Israelis can fully understand being part of the Israeli culture but at the same
time the core of the piece is universal. I believe that outside of Israel the
piece is perceived differently but not less intense or deep.
3. When the show has ended what do you
want the audience to walk away with?
Curiosity about your own life, A
question that lingers, A sense of community of togetherness, Compassion
4. What advice would you give an aspiring
dancer/ and advice how to become an improvisational dancer?
Practice Improvisation in any opportunity you
find. The more you practice the more you understand your own boundaries and
decision making process. Find other people who are interested in Improvisation
as performance and create a community to research together. Enjoy!
Sharona's trip was incredibly positive and we are hoping for further artistic collaborations in the future.