Deganit Shemy

New York-based Israeli choreographer Deganit Shemy studied visual arts at the Kalisher School of Art and Dance at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem.

Shemy's works, which create a critical gap between content and form through its distinguished movement vocabulary, have been commissioned and presented, at Danspace Project, PS 122, Dance Theatre Workshop, DUO Multicultural Arts Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Inaugural Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota, Singapore Fringe Festival and at various venues through Israel.

Ms. Shemy has been an Artist-in-Residence at Dance New Amsterdam, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, DUO Multicultural Arts Center, Movement Research, Dance Theatre Workshop and Baryshnikov Arts Center; has received space grants from the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center in 2005 and 2008 and was selected as a 2008-09 Sugar Salon Artist. She has also been awarded a 2008 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a 2010 BUILD Grant.

Shemy won a Gvanim Bemachol Contest (2003), the A.W.A.R.D. Show (2008), was honored with the Choreographer Award from the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation (2003) and named Young Choreographer of the Year by the Israeli Ministry of Education (2004).

Ms. Shemy's most recent choreography, 2 kilos of sea, was commissioned by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and presented as a site-specific work at the Sitelines Festival in July 2010. The evening-length premiere of 2 kilos of sea was commissioned and presented by Baryshnikov Arts Center in September 2011.

In addition, Shemy continues in her teaching positions. She has served as a 2010 Barbara Bray Ketchum Artist-in-Residence at Sarah Lawrence College and as a guest teacher at the Roger Williams University of Rhode Island. Most recently she was a guest artist at the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.

Returning Artist | April 8 - 21, 2012

Hungry Kite 2012

Shemy returned to MANCC to continue researching and developing her latest work, Hungry Kite, which examines issues of self-judgment, guilt and self-consciousness, as well as unrealistic ideals and stereotypes. In this second Hungry Kite residency, she initiated a new collaboration with Video Artist Jim Findlay. The residency served as one of their first opportunities to work together intensively on the significant video, projection, and lighting components of the piece. This period of exploration served as a foil for Shemy’s interest in the illusion between the seen and unseen, the act of gazing, and the space between the will to act and the impetus of an action. In addition to testing ideas in the Black Box Studio, Findlay and Shemy met with the Director of the Florida State Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Allys Palladino-Craig to discuss the installation of live performance in gallery settings. Finally, Shemy held an informal showing, which included the material generated to date and a discussion about the philosophical dimensions of the work.

The work will premiere at The Chocolate Factory on June 20-23, 2012.
This residency was made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • Performers Savina Theodorou and Rebecca Warner rehearse material for <i>Hungry Kite</i>
  • Warner explores a movement motif in the Black Box Studio
  • Musilova, Warner and Theodorou rehearse before projections are added to this section
  • Shemy refines the qualitative dimensions of Theodorou's phrase material
  • Theodorou reviews her solo section prior to a work-in-progress run
  • Musilova and Warner experiment with Shemy's ideas for their duet
  • Findlay and Shemy begin to work with projections as the cast blocks spacing
  • Performer Rebecca Warner begins to experiment with live video work in rehearsal
  • Findlay and Shemy integrate video, projection, and lighting elements with movement generated to date
  • Theodorou and Warner do a run-through to sync their timing with the projection elements
  • Shemy explores multiple vantage points of the act of gazing in her 2012 <i>Hungry Kite</i> residency
  • The <i>Hungry Kite</i> cast researches duration and the impetus of the will in the forest section
  • Warner, Theodorou, and Musilova review material built in residence to prepare for the informal showing
  • Further explorations with the act of gazing and the integration of live video work
  • Deganit Shemy offers an informal showing of nearly thirty minutes of material generated in residence
  • Denisa Musilova performs a solo section in the work-in-progress <i>Hungry Kite</i>
  • The cast performs live in conjunction with and in sharp relief against Findlay's video installation elements
  • Warner and Theodorou dance under, around and through the projected images
  • Theodorou performs solo material as Musilova is captured through live video feed
  • Further experimentation as live video feed is juxtaposed with physicalization of movement in the space
  • Shemy and her collaborators discuss the philosophical dimensions of the work after the informal showing
Collaborators in Residence: Denisa Musilova, Savina Theodorou, Rebecca Warner [Performers], Jim Findlay [Video Artist] Slideshow photos by Al Hall and Chris Cameron.

Returning Artist | March 8 - 15, 2011 I April 8 -21, 2012

Hungry Kite 2011

Shemy's 2011 residency was the first part in a series of research residencies to develop Hungry Kite, which explores issues of self-judgment, guilt and self-consciousness, as well as unrealistic ideals and stereotypes. Shemy and her collaborators mined movement vocabulary, experimented with the use of children’s toys,  and explored video projection; three interwoven areas of inquiry for the new work.

Shemy invited students to participate in an open rehearsal and presented her work-in-progress at the Congress on Research in Dance Special Topics Conference held at FSU March 11 -12, 2011.


This residency was made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • Shemy and her performers talk with FSU Dance students and Professor Atkins about <i>Hungry Kite</i>.
  • Denisa Musilova works with Kate Freer's projection installation during rehearsal.
  • Performers Denisa Musilova, Elyssa Dole and Savina Theodorou rehearse during Shemy’s residency.
  • Performers Denisa Musilova, Elyssa Dole and Savina Theodorou rehearse <i>Hungry Kite</i>.
  • Performers Denisa Musilova, Elyssa Dole and Savina Theodorou rehearse <i>Hungry Kite</i>.
  • Performers Denisa Musilova, Elyssa Dole and Savina Theodorou rehearse <i>Hungry Kite</i>.
  • Performer Savina Theodorou looks at Kate Freer's projection installation.
  • Shemy and performers Musilova, Dole and Theodorou discuss <i>Hungry Kite</i> with FSU students.
  • Shemy and performers Musilova, Dole and Theodorou discuss <i>Hungry Kite</i> with FSU students.

Collaborators in Residence: Elyssa Dole, Denisa Musilova, Savina Theodorou [Performers], Kate Freer [Projections Designer]. Slideshow photos by Al Hall.

BAC Partnership | September 20 – October 4, 2009

Arena

Shemy’s work seeks to reevaluate the associative relations between content, form and time. In this residency, she continued to expand and refine Arena, in hopes of further crystallizing the relationship between mechanical movements and emotion - a central motif in her work. Shemy states, “the gap between these two seemingly opposite concepts seem to expand and contract in different situations; I seek to further investigate how to control this gap and then manipulate it.” 

 Arena originally premiered at Dance Theater Workshop in April, 2009. This residency helped refine the work for the inaugural Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota, Florida in October, 2009.

Collaborators in Residence: Robin Brown, Erika Eichelberger, Denisa Musilova, Leah Nelson and Savina Theodorou [performers]. Slideshow photos by Kathryn Noletto Felis. 

World Premiere

Lin Hixson and
Matthew Goulish

The Three Matadores
March 11 & 12

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