January 18-19, 2018 at the Mandel Cultural Center in Jaffa, Israel


MOVING COMMUNITIES is a conference celebrating three years of dance classes that brought together dance professionals and people living with Parkinson's disease at the Yasmeen Godder Studio in Jaffa, Israel. The conference, which will take place on January 18th and 19th 2018, invites participants to re-examine and experience anew the connection between thought and movement, dance and well being, and art as a transformative force in the community. It will focus on different practices of teaching dance to people with Parkinson's, as well as on the exploration of new initiatives that connect creativity, body and community.

Our Contemporary Dance Classes for People Living with Parkinson's began as a part of the "Störung/Hafra'a" Project – a collaboration between the Yasmeen Godder Company, Theatre Freiburg in Germany, and the Excellence Cluster BrainLinks-BrainTools at the University of Freiburg. This collaboration, which proved to be immensely rewarding on many levels, continues to this day in the form of two dance classes a week. Led by professional dancers and supported by a group of volunteers from the dance community and beyond, the classes employ a wide range of movement practices, from Capoeira to the Alexander Technique and from voice exploration to improvisation. The classes create a unique encounter that continues to be a source of inspiration and change both for the danceteachers and for the PD (Parkinson’s Dancers), whose illness has forced them to become movement experts.

The community that has evolved from these encounters developed a wide body of knowledge, which we'd like share, challenge and expand. MOVING COMMUNITIES will incorporate experiential workshops, performances, guest lectures and panels led by internationally acclaimed dance professionals, academics and the PD dancers.

Among the guests are: David Leventhal - a founding teacher and Program Director for Dance for PD®, a program of the Mark Morris Dance Group that has now been used as a model for classes in more than 250 communities in 24 countries; Roberto Casarotto, Director of dance projects for the Centro per la Scena Contemporanea di Bassano del Grappa (CSC) and Operaestate Festival Veneto and initiator of Dance Well – Movement research for Parkinson, and Monica Gillette, dancer/choreographer and co-artistic director of two research projects “BrainDance” (2014) and “Störung/Hafra'ah” (2014-16), both of which researched what role knowledge that is specific to dance can play in trans-disciplinary and societal contexts. These highly regarded innovators and teachers will talk about their work, their thoughts and philosophies as dance ambassadors in the community.

Guest lectures also include Prof. Zali Gurevitch poet and professor (emeritus) of Anthropology at the Hebrew University, And Prof. Edan Segev of Computational Neuroscience, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

We invite you to participate in this multi-generational and multi-disciplinary event, which views the meeting between diverse bodies, contexts and fields of expertise as a fruitful and significant factor for artistic creation and the development of communities.

The 2017’s Classes and the conference of Moving Communities was made possible thanks to a generous grant from The Ted Arison Family Foundation.


Free admission |  Early registration required for workshops and performances by email:

 Places are limited.

for the full program

Concept and Content Development: Sigal Bergman, Yasmeen Godder, Shirt Sabach Teicher
Production and Administration: Guy Hugler
Class Coordination: Shuli Enosh and Guy Hugler
Production: Omer Alsheich

The following is a detailed plan according to days (subject to change):

Please notice - all the activities that are still available are written in BLACK. 

All the activities that are already fully booked are in BLUE. 

 *The conference will be in Hebrew and English with simultaneous translation.         

Thursday 18.1.2018

9:30 Registration


10:00-11:15 [Fully Booked!]


 Mark Morris Dance Group, New York


11:30-13:15 (Hall)




Sigal Bergman, Yasmeen Godder, Shiri Sabah Teicher




Roberto Casarotto




Dr. Sara Houston









DANCE YOUR PROJECT [By invitation only]


Ilanit Tadmor


A participatory discussion for dance leaders in diverse communities

Led by Monica Gillette




Shaking Sigal Bergman (Yasmeen Godder Studio)

Words Without Movement Shiri Sabah Teicher (Hall)

Movement Without WordsAnat Vaadia (Mandel Studio)

Each workshop is 25 minutes long; it is possible to experience all three!


18:15-19:15 (Hall)


 Prof. Zali Gurevitch

(Hebrew with simultaneous translation to English)


19:30-20:30 [Fully Booked!]


Ari Teperberg

Followed by a post-performance discussion       

An additional performance, open for audience and in Hebrew, will take place at 21:30.  FOR TICKETS

Friday 19.1.2018


8:30 Registration


9:00-10:45 (Hall)



Screening of “A Year With Dancers, Scientists and People with Parkinson’s”- a film by Maya Rothschild


A panel with Monica Gillette, David Leventhal and Roberto Cassarotto

Mediator: Yasmeen Godder


11:00-12:30 [Fully Booked!]


Co-led by Dance Teachers and Dancers with Parkinson’s

Guy Hugler - Ora Lev-Ron, Avi Elchadef -Ofir Najary, Meir Peretz-Shuli Enosh, Liora Bahar-Sigal Bergman, Gershon Mogilner-Anat Vaadia, Shuki Chaba-Yuli Kovbasnian


12:45-13:45 (Hall)


Prof. Idan Segev

Prof. Idan Segev,  is the The David & Inez Myers Chair in Computational Neuroscience at The Hebrew University

(Hebrew with simultaneous translation to English)


14:30-15:30 [Fully Booked!]


a participatory action inspired by Stabat Mater  

Yasmeen Godder Company



Fine Wine, snacks and talk


All of the activities will have simultaneous translation to either Hebrew or English


Free admission |  Early registration required for workshops and performances by email:

Please notice - all the activities that are still available are written in BLACK.

All the activities that are already fully booked are in BLUE;

 Places are limited.



CONFERENCE January 18-19, 2018 at the Mandel Cultural Center in Jaffa, Israel


From Artistic Director to Initiator of Social Change:Roberto Casarotto

Roberto Casarotto, Director of the Dance Projects at Centro per la Scena Contemporanea-Operaestate Festival in Bassano del Grappa Italy, will introduce the Dance Well initiative – a movement research program with Parkinson’s dancers.Casarotto will describe the impact of the program on the city of Bassano del Grappa (Italy) and will show how it empowers the teachers and dance artists and creates new ways to connect a larger community to art.

Researching Dance for Parkinson's: Dr. Sara Houston

Dr. Sara Houston, Principal Lecturer in the Dance Department at University of Roehampton, London, will talk about her award- winning research examining the experience of people with Parkinson's who dance. For over four years she conducted a mixed-methods study on the physiological, emotional, social and artistic benefits of dancing with the English National Ballet dance for Parkinson's group.

Morning Class: David Leventhal

David Leventhal danced with the New York-based Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) for 15 years and co-founded MMDG's Dance for PD ® program, which delivers group classes, global teacher training and acclaimed media resources so that people with Parkinson's, wherever they are, have access to high quality dance experiences.

Thoughts about Socio-Political Community Initiatives through Movement: Ilanit Tadmor

Ilanit Tadmor is Director of “The Dancer in the Community,” a project of the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport, which brings dance to Israel’s geographic and social outskirts. She will share her insight and experience regarding the challenges facing choreographers and dancers who lead these social projects in diverse communities.

 Simultaneous Workshops:

Shaking: Sigal Bergman Trembling, shaking, oscillating, shivering all evoke a wide range of connotations – from ecstasy to illness, consolation to fear. In 20 minutes of constant movement, we will play with our ability to shift between control and release.

When Language Moves:  Anat Vaadia and Shiri Sabah Teicher We learn how to move before we are capable of talking. When verbalization starts, it mediates and defines the experience of our movement. How do words move us, and how do we experience movement when it is not mediated through words?  In one of two workshops we will listen to words that describe movement (while seated); in the other, we will move together without verbal instructions.

Movement without Words: Shiri Sabah Teicher

Words without movement: Anat Vaadia


Sigal Bergman, Anat Vaadia and Shiri Sabah Teicher teach Contemporary Dance Classes for People Living with Parkinson's at Yasmeen Godder Studio.

Dancing in Conversation: Prof. Zali Gurevitch

The three basic postures of conversation – in a circle, face-to-face and beside one another – are described as turns and gestures in a conversational dance. Prof. Zali Gurevitch is a poet and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

And My Heart Almost Stood Still: Ari Teperberg

An interrupted solo, inspired by Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and a letter by Helen Keller.

Performance in English, followed by a post-performance discussion      



The Stories Behind Dance and Parkinson’s Initiatives

Screening of“A Year with Dancers, Scientists and People with Parkinson’s,” a film by Maya Rothschild, followed by a panel discussion with Monica Gillette, David Leventhal and Roberto Casarotto, moderated by Yasmeen Godder.

What are the stories behind projects involving people with Parkinson's and dance? Where do these stories meet? What are the questions, challenges and dreams for these projects in the present moment and when looking at the future? 

A meeting with three dance leaders from different countries, who made a difference and developed a model for work in the community within their local reality and beyond.

 Lesson co-led by Parkinson Dancers and Dance Teachers

Participants in our weekly classes were invited to join one of the teachers and together research and teach a movement idea that touched them.

Liora Bachar and Sigal Bergman: Starting the day; Avi Elhadaf and Ofir Najari: the pleasure of moving without thinking or planning; Shuki Chaba and Yuli Kovbasnian: quiet body quiet mind, and vice versa; Gershon Mogilner and Anat Vaadia: trusting and growing confidence; Meir Peretz and Shuli Enosh: concentration and its connection to rhythm; Guy Hugler and Ora Lev-Ron - Inside a Crystal, Inside Air - trembling in front of words

Why is the human brain creative? Prof. Idan Segev

The brain of homo sapiens is about 200,000 years old and is unique in its ability to create instruments, ideas, art and science. What makes us "human?" What is the difference between our brain and the (non-creative) brain of the chimpanzee which is genetically similar to us? And what happens in our brains when we enjoy a piece of art. Prof. Edan Segev is Professor of Computational Neuroscience at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Simple Action

A participatory choreographic action Inspired by Stabat Mater 

Yasmeen Godder Company