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Religious music:
Secular music:
Not Jewish in Form:
ClassicalMainstream and Jazz
Israeli Folk DancingBallet
HorahHava NagilaYemenite dance
HatikvahJerusalem of Gold
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Music for Holidays
Music of the Haggadah
Ma NishtanaDayenuAdir Hu
Chad GadyaEchad Mi Yodea
Music of Hanukkah
BlessingsOh ChanukahDreidel Song
Al HanisimMi Y'malelNer Li

Jewish dance has long been used by Jews as a medium for the expression of joy and other communal emotions. Dancing was a favorite pastime and played a role in religious observance.[1]

Israeli folk dancing

Israeli folk dancing developed in early days of Zionist settlement in Land of Israel. It was an exuberant form of dance that reflected the joy of a people returning to its homeland.[2]


The Hora is an Israeli circle dance typically danced to the music of Hava Nagila. It is traditionally danced at Jewish weddings and other joyous occasions in the Jewish community. [3]The hora was introduced in Israel by the Rumanian Jewish dancer Baruch Agadati. In 1924, he worked together with a composer and songwriter to choreograph a show performed by the Ohel Theater Company, which toured the pioneer settlements of the Jezreel Valley. "Hora Agadati," as the dance was known, became an instant success.[4]

Temani dance

Temani (dance) is a line dance based on stationary hopping and posturing, such as can be done in a confined space. The Tsa'ad temani (Yemenite step) is a common dance step in Israeli folk dancing.[5] It is frequently incorporated in public dancing at Israeli weddings and celebrations. The Inbal Dance Company specializes in Yemenite dance in Israel.[6]

Ballet and modern dance

In Russia and France, the Ballets Russes was "primarily a Jewish creation," according to Paul Johnson. [7] The Israel Ballet is made up of both native-born dancers and olim from the former Soviet Union. Contemporary dance in Israel is influenced by Israeli folk dance and European traditions. Dance companies include the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Inbal Dance Theater, Bat-Dor Dance Company and Batsheva Dance Company. In the United States, Jewish choreographers and dancers have been leading figures in the dance world, among them Jerome Robbins, Anna Sokolow, Michael Bennett, Michael Kidd, Ron Field, Arthur Murray, Helen Tamiris and Pearl Lang. Lincoln Kirstein was one of the founders of the School of American Ballet, The American Ballet and the New York City Ballet.

See also


  1. Landa, M.J. (1926). The Jew in Drama, pg. 17. New York: Ktav Publishing House (1969).E ach Jewish diasporic community developed its own dance traditions for wedding celebrations and other distinguished events.
  2. Israeli Dance: History of Israeli Dance. Part of Judaism. Accessed 12 Feb 2006.
  3. Wedding traditions
  4. Hora History
  5. Glossary of Israeli Folk Dancing
  6. Inbal Dance Company
  7. Johnson, op. cit., p. 410.