Photo Credit: Mati Elmaliakh
Dance in Israel has developed in two directions: expansion of the Jewish folk dance genre; and the establishment of art dance, leading to stage productions created by professional choreographers and performed by trained dancers. Dance as an art form was introduced in the country in the 1920s by newly arrived teachers and devotees of dance from cultural centers across Europe. After the establishment of the state, a number of ensembles developed dance to a high professional level; each founded on the basis of a different orientation and style, influenced by Israel’s diverse and varied social, religious and cultural backgrounds. Today more than a dozen major professional dance companies, most of them based in Tel Aviv, perform a varied repertoire throughout the country and abroad.