First meeting with Anna with the Kibbutz Dance
Company, at Batsheva Dance Company's Studios without an invitation for
- 1978. At the same time I was a soldier in the army.
During the year before this class I used to take daily classes with Batsheva 2 in these Studios with Rina Shacham and Rena Gluck and many others. My friend Aryeh Weiner had introduced me there (we had been at this time in the army together). I had already taken professional dancing classes but nobody taught me from the Basics.
Anna paid attention to me, but I felt that there was not much to build on. Yehudit Arnon, the company director asked me not to come again.
At the beginning of 1980 I completed my Army service like everybody else in Israel, and approached Inessa Alexandrovich, who taught classical ballet, and asked her to accept me. She did, and let me, according to my request, take beginners classes with little girls and little space, instead of working with me in advanced class at a large Studio in another location, with special Attention (as a compensation), as she did with other Guys.
During the summer of 1980 there were several Summer
Courses in Israel and this was a chance for an Israeli to
meet teachers from abroad. I knew that I wanted to study in a good
I had chosen the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem; I felt that the students there were more intelligent than in other places. Most of the study there was for the purpose of becoming teachers and not dancers. I'm not sure if I agree today with this approach.
Anna came to teach choreography, Jane Dudley came to teach Graham's modern dance technique.
Anna used the music of Edgar Varese.
Anna asked me who was my teacher and I told her that my teacher was Inessa and her reaction was "she is excellent". At this stage I had already a good basis or start and Anna could work with me and start contributing to my advancement.
During this summer course Hassia Levy organized an
evening of multiple disciplines: Painting, Music, and Dance.
Jossi Stern, an Israeli painter, Anna Sokolow, choreography, and a pianist.
I remember Jossi starting to draw and then Anna inventing a dance with a group of students, asking the pianist to play the appropriate Music, or the pianist beginning to play and then Anna inventing steps and Jossi drawing by this inspiration.
It might have looked like improvisation, but it was not really an improvisation because Anna could repeat the same movements with the same sequence and structure again. It was all full of meaning and deep feeling Anna could never do steps unless they had an internal motivation.
No one else could do this process of creating a complete dance with an abstract of a poem, without any superfluous movement, with an individual signature, so rapidly and spontaneously, and directing others to perform it.
Anna gave such guidance and inspiration without asking anything in return to many artists all over the world,
With Anna and Inbal Dance Theater and its founder Sarah Levi-Tanai at Nachmani Theater in TEL AVIV as Anna's guest. Anna liked them very much and they loved her very much. I felt that this was not the right place for me and I stayed with Anna. Afterwards on the same day, near the same Nachmani Theater, I sat with her and her close friend Nathan Mishori (Anna used his music in her choreography). Nathan was then the critic of a newspaper (Ha'aretz) and in the management of Batsheva Dance company in Israel.
Anna thought that I should come to study at the Juilliard and gave me Martha Hill 's address at the Juilliard.
Inessa, who expected me to attend her own Summer
Course, gave me a rather tepid recommendation for the Juilliard, felt
that I was
not filling her plans for me being a partner for the Ballerina, and she
suggested to teach me to be a teacher.
During this time I went again and again to USA
embassy cultural center to watch American Dance on video (National
Sitting together at a cafe with Inessa
Alexandrovich, my teacher and my new teacher Anna, Inessa told Anna
that she could take me.
During the same period, Anna helped Inessa's best ballerina to be accepted to
The School of American Ballet (founded by George Balanchine & Lincoln Kirstein) at NYC.
Sitting with Anna and Nissan
Nativ at a cafe before working in his Theater School as a
guest of Anna (again at Batsheva Dance
Company's Studios in Tel- Aviv) for one month, every day.
Anna had the simplicity of a genius like Newton who saw an apple falling from a tree; Many people saw apples falling from trees before but Newton looked at it differently. Anna had the ability to see, to listen and to focus.
Anna gave us something that we received from no one else, something much more than just technique, something much more valuable, concern with being independent, open, human, sensitive and expressive artists.
Anna didn't like arrogant people. She didn't like the habit of dancers to dance in front of a mirror, I think that a dancer should learn how to use the mirror correctly.
Sokolow's set vocabulary of movements and her classroom technique involved the mind and the body as a whole and there was an interaction.
She asked us if we had seen Paul Cezanne's painting on the theme of a simple apple. Her serious attitude towards the art of dance was something very uncommon among dance people.
I remember Anna telling us that she was the first to make use of Jazz music in her work.
Going with Anna to Bernstein's Concert.
Rubin Academy of Music and Dance, Jerusalem, Summer 1981.
Dancing on account of the beginning of
Anna's class (or rehearsal), the piece I choreographed for the audition
at Juilliard (Chopin Impromptu no. 4, op 66, in C-sharp Minor). Anna
came up to me and said: "I want to talk with you about your future"
An open class at Tel Aviv
A tourist Visa to USA
Ofer and Sherry open their home for me.
Doing an audition at the Juilliard School, Martha Hill spoke with Edith D'Addario by phone about me.
Watching Anna's class at the Juilliard.
During my time in New York City I went frequently to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).
February 12, 1982: watching at Lehman College: Jose Limon dance company doing Sokolow's: "Magritte, Magritte". (My friend Aryeh Weiner who told me about this performance and gave me directions how to get there by subway was dancing The Moor's friend (Iago) in Limon's Masterpiece The Moor's Pavane at the same evening).
March 1982: watching at The Juilliard Theater the Juilliard Dance Ensemble doing Sokolow's "Excerpt from Odes" using the music of Edgard Varese and Sokolow's "Everything Must Go" (A new choreography on the theme of the homeless people in New York using Teo Macero's music).
May 6, 1982: watching at the Merkin
Concert Hall: Works by Anna Sokolow dedicated to Louis Horst, performed by Players' Project:
Song of Songs, Lyric Suite, Dreams.
Going to an off-Broadway play directed by Anna about the theme of Hannah Senesh(Szenes).
During this period I went to see all major dance companies (ballet & modern) mostly at Lincoln Center with standing room tickets, and City Center.I Received a letter from Zeev Vilnay, who writes to me after hearing my mother reading my letters from NYC to him, that he thinks I should dedicate myself to writing, I do not know if he thought that I have talent for writing or maybe it was his way to encourage me to write letters to my family in Israel, and return back to Israel after a period, or maybe both.
Back to Israel
Going to Museums with Anna
Going to Museums with Anna was a unique experience,
holding her hand and looking together at the exhibits with an exchange
Tel Aviv Museum
The original building of the Bezalel Academy of Fine Art in Jerusalem
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Going to classical concerts with Anna
Watching a play by Anna (Choreography) and Phillip
Diskin (text), Ayal Meni & Tsippi Fleischer (music),
Ziva Schochet, Mordechai Abrahamov ,Albert Swissa (dancers/actors)
on the theme of "The Cave of Machpelah" at Ein Karem, Jerusalem as Anna's companion.
Among the audience at the open amphitheater with the wonderful view of Ein Karem were Galina Ragozina Panov, Judith Gottlieb and Hassia Levy-Agron.
Anna my friend
Anna visits me at my home at Jerusalem.
I told Anna that I like Beethoven's music while going to a concert with her.
I accompanied Anna at her 80th birthday
celebration,at the Samuel Rubin Academy in Jerusalem. Among the
Kollek , the mayor of Jerusalem (on the previous day I gave
Anna my present his book: "My Jerusalem"). All Anna's close friends in
were there. Giora Manor screened historic slides from Anna's long
Romance with Israel. Even though it was a party for her, Anna
presented there her choreography to Beethoven's Moonlight sonata (no.
14 op. 27 no. 2).
Anna wanted to buy me a present and promised to give me the book that she was reading - Chopin's Letters or Diary.
Going with Anna to see the Inbal Dance company,
directed by Sarah
Levi-Tanai, their founder from the early 1950th.
Going with Anna to see a contemporary Modern Dance company, Jerusalem.
Going with Anna to the Cinema.
Going with Anna to a performance of restoration of the work of Isadora Duncan at the Rubin Academy.
Anna Told me on several occasions that she was not getting paid for her work in Israel. There was a strange arrangement, with America-Israel cultural foundation responsible for bringing Anna to Israel the Rubin Academy responsible for her housing and transportation but Anna working for no fee or for a small honorarium rather exploitive. This arrangement continued for many years and gave little expression of the respect she deserved; The main thing that bothered her was when she was not provided with a proper studio or pianist.
Anna my friend and teacher
Going with Anna to examine the catalog of Tel Aviv's Central Library of
Dance and Music.
Going to museums and concerts with Anna.
A Saturday with Anna:
We went in my car at morning from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Anna sat all the way, with a curiosity of a child who discover the world, Walking in Jerusalem, Driving back to Tel Aviv's district, Going to Jaffa, Walking in the streets of Jaffa, Finding a place to eat with live music, Anna stops the traffic as always and then at the end of the day brought Anna back to Tel Aviv to Ofra or Judith Gotlib.
While being with Anna I felt very comfortable, natural and excited by her company. Anna was interested in my impressions of NYC's dance, I told her about NYCB, ABT, Joffrey, Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, NDT, Paul Taylor, Dance theater of Harlem, Players Project, Cunningham, and my opportunities of seeing all these companies in live performance.
I told Anna about my intense impression of watching NYCB doing Jerome Robbins' Choreography of Bernstein's Fancy Free, Anna told me: "Did you know that I was the first?"
I told Anna about ABT doing Carmen. Anna said, "Did you know that I did it too?" .
I told Anna that I liked Lyric Suite very much.
Anna visited me at home. I showed her a recent
picture of me dancing a Solo and then put on the first Nocturne by
Anna began counting and thinking of movements that come out of the music, and then telling me "that's enough stop the music".
The air was full of.
"Do you know Vladimir Horowitz?"
"There is a studio and we can work there..."
Last meeting with Anna at her home At NYC.
Sokolow at the Rubin Academy of Music and
Dance in Jerusalem,