For the last two years, I have studied dance with Michal Glickberg, a gifted choreographer and the creator of a unique dance style that combines elements from different origins. A fusion of belly dance, tribal dance, ritual Indian dances, and other traditions into a distinctly female-goddess style that allows the dancer to connect to her energy, joy, and the beauty of her body. The learning process my fellow dance students and I underwent culminated in a performance that took place in Tel Aviv at the end of September. Each participant presented a solo she created for the event, and the result was a hypnotizing and powerful evening that will stay with me for years to come.
The Pliia, the unique splash blanket I developed, always accompanies me on my adventures. So it was quite literally center stage throughout the course with Michal. During rehearsals, it served as an altar, and it was clear to me that the Pliia would have a central part in my solo performance. It took me some time, however, to figure out the music for my piece.
The song I finally chose is by the outstanding musician Orka Teppler. I first met Orka at a lecture she gave on voice journeys and the connection of the throat chakra to our ability to express ourselves in the world. At that first meeting, Orka played her new song to us in its initial acoustic version. The moment I heard it, I felt it spoke to me and touched on the subjects central to my worldview: ushering in a new age in which women and men realize that our cerebral way of life is unbalanced and doesn’t lead to inner harmony. A time when we learn to respect our feelings again and connect to our inner energy. It conveyed my deep conviction that the essence of being human is growth and presence. We women create this space and aim to create a balance that has never before existed.
As the song was not yet released when I heard it first, I had to wait several months for its official version. Once it came out, my vision for the dance really came together, and Orka was kind enough to let me use “Feel It” in the performance. My solo became a group piece that symbolizes the awakening of women to the new age of the heart. The Pliia acts as a stage on which each woman rises and blooms. Naturally, I named it – Keren in the Land of Pliia – Which can be translated as Keren in Wonderland, and the Pliia became a symbol of liberation and awakening incorporated into the dance.
As the date of the dance concert came closer, the rehearsals became quite hectic. I practiced the moves again and again alone and with my partners, and sometimes I even succeeded in convincing family members to join me in dance. The soundtrack of my life became the resounding words of Orka’s song:
We are here to break a chain
Each of us can lead her way
To the era of the open heart
Now it’s time to be set free
Dance your freedom here with me
The night of the performance itself was exhilarating. It was a culmination of so much work and such a meaningful process that I’ve gone through with Michal and my fellow dancers. The different pieces that were staged during the evening expressed the voices of these diverse and unique women and spoke louder than words ever will. Each participant brought her true essence, and it all came together in the group dances that communicated our communal hope for change. Through it all, the Pliia Altar was at the front of the stage, decorated with meaningful items each dancer brought to it.
The show’s message became even more poignant as it coincided with the beginning of the protest against the oppression of women in Iran. One of the solo pieces belonged to Tzipora Amjadian, a brave woman who left Iran for Israel and mirrored her journey in her dance. The relevancy of her story made clear that our struggle is far from over.
I came to dance late in life. As a young girl, it was clear to me from early on that dancing, singing, and performing, in general, were not for me. Only in the last decade have I been trying to break these assumptions I’ve had about myself and push myself to do things I never thought I could do. Through the process of working on my piece and preparing for our recital, I’ve not only gained a means of artistic expression but found out so much about myself and made wonderful friends for life.
You can view the performance in a video done from the audience here: