arts & entertainment
inspired by contemporary dance in Israel
brings her troupe and tempos to the
Berman Center for the Performing Arts.
I Contributing Writer
ndrea Miller, artistic director of
Gallim Dance, has two works
from her repertory planned for
performance Wednesday evening, March
12: Sit, Kneel, Stand and Pupil Suite.
Gallim's program at the Berman "will
be a mixed-bill program:' Miller says in
a phone call from New York, where her
company was estab-
lished in 2007.
"The first is more
of my current voice as
a choreographer and
more loose because it
follows a landscape of
sound instead of a score
of music. The other
piece is more of an
enjoyable dance, playful
with the music and less
Inspired by the Albert Choreographer
Camus' essay "The Myth of Sisyphus," Sit,
Kneel, Stand, the newer piece, is "an eve-
ning-length work that explores the restless
human search for meaning in a daily life
full of absurdity, inertia and simple unex-
pected rewards" It is set to original music
by Jerome Begin and Christopher
The piece stems from the idea of every-
thing moving in space without necessarily
having a connection. Slowly, the elements
come closer together, collide and find har-
monious bundles of relationships that can
turn into love.
Pupil Suite is an early piece inspired by
Balkan Beat Box, a popular American-
Israeli band. Miller has worked to establish
a fun interpretation of the music.
Eight dancers will travel to Michigan,
and they all appear in both pieces for the
company's performance debut in the state.
Arika Yamada, a former company mem-
ber, is from Michigan and has told Gallim
dancers about the area, visited as part of
dancer-led workshops at the University of
— a program featuring
dancers from universities
and colleges around the
state at 8 p.m. Saturday,
March 15, at the Berman
— will include U-M danc-
f ers performing a Miller
Gallim Dance has
appeared before more
than 15,000 audience
members annually in settings that have
included New York City Center, the Joyce
Theater in New York, Jacob's Pillow Dance
Festival in Massachusetts, Spoleto Festival
in South Carolina, the Tanz Bremen in
Germany and Madrid en Danza in Spain.
Gallim takes its name from the Hebrew
word for waves. If Miller had free time,
she would sit by large bodies of water and
watch the movement of waves.
"I work at maintaining a very innovative
approach to movement" says Miller, 32,
who tries to avoid using any vocabulary
from traditional dance techniques.
Special to the Jewish News
Jews On The Tube
A big hit for the USA Network, Suits,
starring Gabriel Macht, 42, as a leg-
endary Manhattan lawyer, returns for
the remainder of its third season (six
episodes) at 9 p.m. Thursday, March 6.
Gabriel's father, actor Stephen Macht,
71, a religious Jew, will be a guest star
on a yet-to-be announced episode.
On a Glee episode airing at 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 11, on Fox, Oscar-
winner Marlee Matlin, 48, guest-stars
as a national choir competition judge;
she also has a recurring role as a
teacher of the deaf on the highly rated
ABC Family series Switched at Birth.
March 6 • 2014
26, of Girls fame,
hosts Saturday Night
Live at 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 8.
SNL's musical guest
will be the National,
a critically acclaimed
rock band composed
of Cincinnati natives
long relocated to Brooklyn.
The band is hip, smart and two-
fifths Jewish, with 37-year-old twin
brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner
part of the group. Bryce composes
in many genres, including a classical
piece for the famous Kronos Quartet
called Aheym (homeward in Yiddish), a
tribute to his immigrant grandparents.
"There's also a value set on human
expression. You see the whole person —
spirit, humor and vulnerability"
Miller decided she wanted to turn dance
into her profession when she was 11 and
living in Connecticut. Taking dance and
art classes simultaneously, she was advised
by her teachers to give more time to one
"I had been seeing professional dance
performances and getting very inspired
by the idea that dance was something that
I could reach for and achieve myself" she
"I started taking classes more seriously
and went on to Juilliard. All along, I found
I was more focused on the choreography.
"After graduating from Juilliard, I went
to Israel, and the experience was very
transformative. It was my first experience
working professionally, and I was able to
express myself artistically"
Miller's experience in Israel was moti-
vated by her commitment to Judaism and
her desire to work with Ohad Naharin,
a choreographer at Batsheva Dance
Company first observed during a visit to
When she returned to New York, she
decided to develop her own dances.
"I started collaborating with Francesca
Romo, a dancer I had met in class" Miller
recalls. "The company started building
to include more people with more fixed
"We started renting studio space
and recently found our own space [in
Brooklyn]. As we worked, we toured inter-
One piece, Mama Call, was motivated by
the historical treatment of Jews in Spain,
where Miller traces her family's roots.
The piece develops from the time Jews,
Christians and Muslims lived together in
cities that became ghost towns.
"Voices of poetry and music have been
quieted, and memories of that time are
hard to find" she says. "The story is not
unique to Spanish Jews, and I use music
from all around the world for this piece"
At the same time Miller started her
company, she joined Romemu, a Jewish
congregation in Manhattan that practices
nondenominational observance and "seeks
to integrate body, mind and soul in Jewish
"I'm traveling less with the troupe
because I have a 5-month-old son:' says
Miller, who brings him with her to dis-
tant bookings often accompanied by her
mother as sitter.
"My husband, Juan Felipe Rengifo,
works for the United Nations doing
environmental policy negotiations. He's
Catholic, and we're learning about and
enjoying having an interfaith family. We
celebrate both our holidays and attend ser-
vices with each other.
"I think my son will have access to views
and spiritual engagement with more of the
The new Lifetime series Celebrity
Home Raiders debuts at 10 p.m.
Opening on Friday, March 7, is
the animated film Mr. Peabody and
Sherman. As in the TV show, the
pair time-travels and meets famous
people, including father of psycho-
analysis Sigmund Freud, voiced by
Mel Brooks, 87.
Opening the same day is 300: Rise
of an Empire, an action-adventure
blockbuster that is both a prequel
and sequel to the
hit 2007 film 300,
about ancient Greeks
female lead in Rise,
Artemisia, is played
by French actress
Eva Green, 33.
Thursday, March 6. The premise: Two
auctioneers go to an older celeb's
house, paw through all his/her stuff,
especially memorabilia, and pick out
items to be auctioned for charity.
The first of eight episodes features
Gene Simmons, 64, of KISS fame, and
Fran Drescher, 56, appears on the
March 13 episode.
At The Movies
The Peabody and Sherman TV car-
toons, featuring the super-smart dog,
Peabody, and his adopted human boy,
Sherman, were created by Ted Key
(1912 -2008), who also created the
Hazel cartoon character/TV show.
Gallim Dance performs at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 12, at the Berman
Center for the Performing Arts in
West Bloomfield. $32-$37. (248)
661-1900; www.theberman.org .