The Top Ten | The most influential people in Israeli dance

Shir Hacham

1. Yair Vardi, 64, Director, Suzanne Dellal Center

2. Yasmeen Godder, 39, choreographer

Yasmeen Godder, one of Israel’s most outstanding and most successful choreographers, premiered her new work, “See Her Change,” this year. She is now working on a coproduction with the Freiburg Theater, and this month is hosting a first evening of premieres for dancer-choreographers from her troupe. Many observers consider Godder the foremost aesthetic authority in Israeli dance since Ohad Naharin, and perhaps the only one who marked out a completely different line from his.

3. Ohad Naharin, 61, choreographer and artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company

As the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company for the past 23 years, Ohad Naharin is without a doubt the most important taste-setter in Israeli dance. More than any other institution, the company he directs is identified worldwide with “Israeli dance.” Indeed, his influence is so overwhelming that dance in Israel is in the grip of a kind of creative paralysis, despite the country’s many choreographers. Some also wonder how deeply Naharin is engaged in a dialogue with the local community.