Israeli dancer and choreographer Noa Shavit will bring her talent to the University of Michigan through December.

Featured photo courtesy Noa Shavit/Dana Karochi

Last year, Israeli choreographer and dancer Noa Shavit auditioned before a group of international scouts looking for talent. She caught the attention of Flo Low, associate director of arts programs at the Israel Institute, and was chosen to be part of the organization’s Visiting Artists Program.

Shavit is among 10 Israelis — including writers, theater directors, a musician and a puppeteer — teaching at American universities this year.

University of Michigan will provide Shavit’s teaching stage through December.

“It’s a great honor for me to be here, and I’m so happy to do it,” says Shavit, 36, who toured America in 2006 with Emanuel Gat Dance, a troupe started in Israel and moved to France.

“I will be teaching technique more than classic dance, my point of view regarding performing and a little bit of acting. I like to explore dancing from my experience, and that has to do with keeping active from the inside with emotions, energy and imagination.

“I want to show the big varieties and range of things you can do with dance and how you can develop your body according to your inner self,” Savit says. “All that helps with making a connection between the performer and the audience in how they can relate to each other.”

Shavit, based in Tel Aviv and working as an instructor as well as performer, trained at the Ga’aton Professional Dance Workshop. She has been associated with Sharon Fridman, Anat Grigorio, Dede Dance Company, Nimrod Freed/Tami Dance Company and Noa Dar Dance Group.

In 2018, she premiered the solo “Ingiven” as part of Tmuna Theater’s Intimidance Festival.
“This is the first time I’m teaching a class outside of Israel, and I’m very excited about that,” says Shavit, who started studying dance when she was in third grade and knew by 17 that dance would be the career for her. “I love to teach and work with a range of [students at various levels].”

Shavit, who is engaged to drummer Oren Tuval, will be teaching three dance classes: practical technique, contemporary dance and dance lab.

“It’s very important for me to give students the idea of creating while connecting with the audience,” she says. “They must be open and explore all the time, and that’s a level of communication. They have to be tough [to get through the rigors of dance].”

Other universities participating in the program include the Juilliard School, California Institute of the Arts, University of California, University of Central Florida, Emory University and the University of Southern California.

The Visiting Artists Program is only one initiative of the Israel Institute, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. The organization administers programs for university students to learn about modern Israel. Besides engaging with students, visiting artists share Israeli culture with American communities.

“I will be happy to make connections with any organization if they want to invite me for teaching or other activities in the community,” Shavit says.

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Suzanne Chessler’s writing-editing career has spanned many years, and her articles have been featured in secular and religious publications across the state and around the country. There was a period of time when she maintained three regular columns in three different publications – one appearing weekly to spotlight metro volunteers, another appearing weekly to profile stage enthusiasts in community theater and a third appearing bimonthly to showcase upcoming arts programs. Besides doing general reporting, she has had continuing assignments involving health, monetary subjects and crime. Her award-winning work builds on majors in English-speech and journalism earned at Wayne State University, where instructors also were writers-editors on Detroit’s daily newspapers.