Zvi Dance “On the Road” a work in progress at Mass MoCA, more this Summer at Jacobs Pillow

Cultural partners Jacob’s Pillow Dance and MASS MoCA present New York City-based contemporary dance company ZviDance in a work-in-progress showing of On The RoadApril 23 at 8pm at the Hunter Center. On the Road, inspired by American beatnik Jack Kerouac’s novel by the same title, is an evening-length, multimedia dance piece that contemplates the general upheaval of the 1960s and the Beat generation’s startling notions of social rebellion. Co-presentations by Jacob’s Pillow and MASS MoCA are made possible by the Irene Hunter Fund for Dance.

“We are so excited to be able to present ZviDance twice in the same year in two such different works,” says Jacob’s Pillow Managing Director Andrea Sholler. “The Mass MoCA evening will invite the audience into Zvi’s process as he creates his newest work On the Road; then in July, ZviDance’s week-long run at Jacob’s Pillow will showcase his acclaimed Escher/Bacon/Rothko, a finished, evening-length work. Both promise to maintain Zvi Gotheiner’s signature innovative style and his fascinating melding of artistic mediums–in this case, dance and literature.”

“Zvi’s On The Road is part of the secret sub-series we’ve had this season about the 1960s,” notes MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson. “Alloy Orchestra’s scored Jimi Hendrix-Grateful Dead concert video, Mikael Jorgensen’s Trimbin band performed a concert of music they composed for lost Fred Engleberg films, and now we wrap it up with Zvi choreographing for Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Our co presentations with Jacob’s Pillow are often highlights of the season. We’re looking forward to this one — a journey with the Beats.”

Dubbed “as much sociologist as dance-maker” by Alastair Macaulay, chief dance critic of The New York Times, Israeli-born ZviDance Artistic Director Zvi Gotheiner is praised for creating “a sensual, organic world of movement, language, and images where one is pulled along by currents unseen and inevitable” (Naomi Abrahami, Dance Magazine). Founded in 1991, his company melds movement genres and design to create inter-disciplinary works dedicated to relationships and community in the modern age.

In On the Road, Gotheiner entwines the thrills of freedom, the sounds of jazz, and the perplexity of youthful American voices discovering their closeted and social selves. Set to an original score by frequent collaborator and composer Scott Killian, the soundscape is a commentary on Kerouac’s novel and an homage to the Beat poets. Couched in a mash-up of Beat Generation jazz and original dance music, the piece conveys a modern tone in utilizing the voices of young, urban contemporary spoken word artists. Along with the cast of eight dancers, the artistic team also includes ZviDance Resident Lightning Designer Mark London and Brooklyn-based Set/Visual Designer Josh Higgason.


Born and raised in a kibbutz in northern Israel, Artistic Director Zvi Gotheiner began his artistic career as a violinist with the Young Kibbutzim Orchestra, where he attained the rank of soloist and Concertmaster at age 15. He began dancing at 17, and soon after, formed his first performance group. Gotheiner arrived in New York in 1978 on a dance scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and danced with the Joyce Trisler Danscompany and Feld Ballets/NY and toured with Batsheva Dance Company. After directing Tamar Ramle and the Jerusalem Tamar Dance Companies in Israel and the Israeli Chamber Dance Company in New York, he founded ZviDance in 1991.

Gotheiner is the recipient of two New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowships and The National Arts Club Weiselberg Award. He has been commissioned by companies including Zurich Tanz Theater, Utah’s Repertory Dance Theater, Colloquium Contemporary Dance Exchange, the Joyce Theater’s Altogether Different series, Diversion The Dance Company of Wales, and Groundworks in Cleveland, among others.



Founded in 1991, ZviDance exists to share the choreographic vision and unique movement vocabulary of Artistic Director, Zvi Gotheiner. A collaborative alliance of artists, the company celebrates diversity by melding movement genres into works that refuse to be bound to specific thematic or aesthetic dogma. ZviDance is shaped by a collaborative model of creation, involving the ensemble and designers from the initial research phase, so as to constantly push the methodology of a creation process within an inter-disciplinary format.


The works of ZviDance have been met with critical acclaim, and held a spot on the prestigious “Best Performances of 2013” list in The New York Times. The company has performed at esteemed New York venues including the Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, and abroad to Germany, Poland, Russia, Israel, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Japan. ZviDance made its Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival debut in 2004 in the Doris Duke Theatre. The company will return to the Pillow this year for Escher/Bacon/Rothko in the Doris Duke Theatre, July 2024.


The Irene Hunter Fund for Dance:

Through the financial support of the Irene Hunter Fund for Dance, Jacob’s Pillow Dance and MASS MoCA continue to co-present performing arts programming, a partnership established before the museum was opened in 1999. The Pillow played a pivotal role in establishing MASS MoCA’s role as a performing arts presenter and sponsored events at the museum site as early as 1995. In the spirit of deep collaboration, this partnership creates opportunities for visual and performing artists by encouraging cross-disciplinary experimentation; cultivates new dance audiences in the Berkshires by presenting innovative, high-quality performances; and expands the public’s understanding of the creative process. Past co-presentations include Kyle Abraham/Abraham.in.Motion., Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, STREB, MOMIX, DanceBrazil, Stephen Petronio Company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Armitage Gone! Dance, Cuba’s Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Chunky Move, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Shen Wei Dance Arts, KEIGWIN + COMPANY, Katie Workum, Kimberly Bartosik, and most recently Big Dance Theater.


Performance and Ticket Information:

Saturday, April 23 at 8pm; Hunter Center at MASS MoCA.

Ticket prices: $12 advance, $18 day of, $8 students, $22 preferred

To order tickets, call 413.662.2111 or visit www.massmoca.org.

MASS MoCA is located at 87 Marshall Street, North Adams, MA 01247.



July 20-24, Doris Duke Theatre


Under the artistic vision of Israeli-born Zvi Gotheiner, ZviDance is widely-extolled for its hallmark of innovative works and lush movement. The company performs the dance triptych Escher/Bacon/Rothko in three distinct sections inspired by the artwork of twentieth-century masters M.C. Escher, Francis Bacon, and Mark Rothko. An evening- length work for 10 dancers, Gotheiner’s sweeping and intelligent choreography illuminates layers of connection in each artists’ notion of modernity, danced to a compelling original score by composer Scott Killian.


Tickets go on sale to the public April 1; Jacob’s Pillow Members can order today.

For tickets and more information, call 413.243.0745 or visit jacobspillow.org.


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