Wallpaper: Flashbacks of memories and home


Mike Esperanza, Artistic Director of BARE Dance Company, premiers his new work for the company, WALLPAPER, at the Theater at the 14th St Y December 4-6, 2015 at 8pm. WALLPAPER is an immersive choreographic work that honors the foundations we create with the energy, scratches, scents and sounds experienced as we live in our homes.

“I want the audience to feel like they are having flashbacks to their own memories and experiences from home,”  says Choreographer, Mike Esperanza. “With the immersive, gallery-like performance each audience member will get to have his or her own unique visual experience.”



Esperanza will make use of the Y’s flexible black box space to create an abstracted model home-like environment with set pieces and a special light installation for audience members to take a walkthrough tour during performances. Fourteen dancers will create a series of vignettes and abstracted moments for audiences to move through. BARE’s performances will showcase their signature style of urban athletic contemporary technique blended in a theatrical setting.

Buy Tickets Here

Meet the Fellows: Gal Beckerman & Shanti Grumbine




“What kind of art can inspire outrage and change? Could that art also be beautiful or does its aesthetics undermine its political impact?”

galbeckerman13_17_flat_bl-150x150LABA PROJECT: I’m in the beginning stages of working on a book about the New York Photo League. This was a group of young photographers — almost all the children of Jewish immigrants who grew up poor on the Lower East Side — who in the 1930s took up their cameras as a form of social protest. They began photographing the Depression-era America they saw around them, both in their native city and out in the rest of the United States. The book will focus on Sid Grossman, who was the main teacher and guide of the Photo League, a charismatic figure and a politically engaged artist…

Continued Here




“Beauty has been a bad word in the field of visual arts for quite some time and yet it is still present and it still functions as an aesthetic, if sometimes unspoken, goal.”


Why do you want to study beauty?

In much postmodern theory, to banish beauty in art is to turn away from commodification and create a critique of commercialism, capitalism and corporate culture. It seems that Beauty remains acceptable only in mass media, entertainment and advertising, where it is used as a blatant tool for profit. And yet, I’d like to entertain the idea that for art to be democratic, there ought to be an element of beauty, something that is accessible to everyone regardless of class, gender, education or political standing. I believe that there is something courageous in making work that is generous and accessible to most anyone through aesthetic formal beauty and craft….

Continued Here

Meet the Fellows: Lital & Kendell



lital-dotan-cu1LABA PROJECT:

One of the major projects I am currently working on is a translation of a performance piece into a full length play. Designed as a tragic comedy, the play is based on a performance I did during a residency at the Marina Abramovic Institute in San Francisco in 2010, which went tremendously wrong, causing me severe injuries by a participant. In the play I am focusing not on the personal traumatic aspect of the piece but rather on its social aspects. So far I have translated this performance into a draft for a play, and I hope to be able to develop and discuss it during the fellowship this year.

Read More Here



kendell-pinkneyWhat drew you to apply to LABA?

LABA’s premise of studying classical Jewish texts and using them as an impetus for creation is unique among arts fellowships. As someone who straddles the worlds of theatre and Jewish life/education, it is nice to be part of a program that encourages me to bring all of my interests to the table.

Why do you want to study beauty?

Beauty interests me because of its relation to aesthetic correctness, perfection, and virtue. Beauty terrifies me for all the same reasons, because each of the above attributes implies its opposite: aesthetic incorrectness, imperfection, and vice. This, in turn, raises the more troubling issues of who gets to decide what is beautiful and what is ugly, and why should someone/some group have that power? To me, these questions carry a good deal of heft, because beautiful things affect how we relate the world, and the consequences of being beautiful, or possessing beauty, are tangible in how the world relates to us.


Voice of Change: Other Israel Film Festival

Sunday, November 8th, 2015 at 5PM
wine & cheese reception to follow
Now more than ever, the Other Israel Film Festival calls on the unheard voices of Israel.   In this panel, these five women will shares clips of their work, discuss their artistry, and the ways that Israel has affected both the subject matter and production of their work.  In anticipation of Sunday, we asked three of the panelist,  Tamara Erde, Adi Ezroni and Iris Zaki (trailer for her film WOMEN IN SINK featured above) a few questions to get some background on their work.


What and when was the first movie you made?

Iris: The first movie I made was a short documentary: My Kosher Shifts, about a Kosher hotel in London. In 2009 I moved to London to study documentary filmmaking. In order to pay the rent I found a job as a receptionist at a Jewish hotel in North London. As a secular Israeli who has never before interacted with Orthodox Jews, I was rather excited when I started to have intimate conversations with my guests: religious Jews from different countries, sects and backgrounds, and realized that I should turn it into a film. The film basically shows my conversations with several guests, where we exchange our thoughts and opinions about religion and life. I had filmed it in a very minimal, guerrilla way, so that the filming process wouldn’t change the nature of the conversations too much. I called this technique the ‘Abandoned Camera’. The film which I’m showing now: Women in Sink, is actually following the same technique, of capturing my conversations with individuals from a closed community, while I’m serving them. I’m also exploring this method through a practice based PhD research.

Tamara: Rober- A documentary about my father whom I never knew.

Adi: First movie I produced was a three film project about child trafficking and prostitution including a documentary and feature film. I’m still slightly post traumatic about it, being held in Cambodia against my will, and touring the country with the movie.  The First movie I acted in was when I was 12. All I remember is wardrobe stuffing the bra with cotton balls to create cleavage I still don’t have.


Is there a sentence or scene you can recount that has stuck in your mind during the making of the movie (even if its not in the final edit)?

Tamara: “It’s a perfect perfect educational success. You have wanting not to know, and wanting not to teach. And this is how the narrative goes on”. (Prof. Nurit Peled Elhanan)

Iris: One of my characters (that did not make it into the final film) was a very young Christian Arab woman, almost half of my age, who came to do her hair before her wedding. She told me that she had kept herself for her soon to be husband and that tomorrow is going to be her first time. It was an intimate and emotional moment we both shared – of a connection between two women at entirely different stages. While I was washing her hair she expressed her fears and excitement; I told her about my first time, that it was rather meaningless and not at all special. We realized how different our societies are when it comes to sex and modesty, and it made wonder about my own choices and about the idea of freedom. I used to think that my liberal life-style is so exciting and fun, but seeing the spark in her eyes made me rethink all that. Well, at least for a few minutes.


What is your dream project?

Tamara:  A documentary series of films, exploring human feelings, each concentrated on a feeling, shot all over the world, amongst different cultures and people.

Iris: My dream project would be a journey documentary with my father in Egypt, to search for my Muslim side of the family.  My father, Moshe Zaki, was born in Cairo. His mother, Souad Zaki, who was a famous actress and singer in Egypt, fell in love with a Muslim Qanun player, Mohammed Elakkad, who hailed from a great Egyptian musical family. They married and had my father, but after a few years they ended their relationship. When it was unbearable for her to stay in Egypt due to anti-semitism, my grandmother left to Israel, with my father, and my grandfather to New York. After a few years my grandfather asked her to join him in New York, and they remarried. They later moved to Israel together, where they lived until they died. My father, my brother and myself, had all been raised as Jews, though I am very much tempted to explore my Muslim roots and try and find my Muslim family in Cairo.

Adi: I’ve been developing a film for years about a poet. That’s why it’s taken years. I would say it’s now more a nightmare than a dream— just kidding.  My dream project would be one that I write and act in or direct.



Come see the Voice of Change, five women filmmakers discussing their artistry, heated themes and life in the Middle East. How do you call to action through film?  Conversation, wine & cheese to follow the panel.