Autobiographical Statement

"One does not just watch a dance by Zvi Gotheiner. One enters a world with its own internal logic, a sensual, organic world of movement, language, and images where one is pulled along by currents unseen and inevitable." (Dance Magazine)

Internationally acclaimed choreographer Zvi Gotheiner is the Artistic Director of ZviDance. Praised for a signature innovative style and fascinating melding of artistic mediums, his work is recognized as radical, contemporary dance theater, ground-breaking, thoughtful yet passionate, with lush movement. Zvi is also a renowned ballet teacher with a devoted following throughout the world, hailed by the New York Times as The Zen Dance Master of New York.

His work frequently touches upon relevant issues and themes around relationships and community. He has been described "as much sociologist as dance-maker" (Alastair Macaulay, New York Times),

A prolific choreographer with over 35 works in the last 30 years, Zvi integrates exciting original musical scores, evocative lighting designs, with edgy multi-media and video projections. The ZviDance renowned creative team includes composers Scott Killian and Jukka Rintamak; visual designers Josh Higgason and Herzog Nadler; and lighting designer Mark London. His collaborative approach extends to the dancers and is infused with a deep regard for the individual and their creative, aesthetic role within the ensemble. His company is admired for its elasticity, athleticism and emotional expressivity.

Current work includes:
 "On the Road".  A multi-media celebration of Jack Kerouac’s famed novel drawn from a 2-week "artistic research" road trip from New York to San Francisco Zvi undertook with several of his dancers and visual artists. A sublime meditation on cultural change, new ways of young people defining self, inspired by the sites and experiences along Kerouac’s road.

 "Dabke". Athletic, loose, spontaneous; on occasion, ecstatic; always magnificent. The rich and varied Mid-Eastern styles of this traditional folk dance are fused with contemporary movement.  A stunning work that highlights the importance of Dabke as a cultural sharpener as well as a diffuser of Mid-Eastern identity in that all speak its language. Recognized by the NY Times as a Top Ten Dance Favorite of 2013, it continues to be performed to cheering audiences - "thrilling how it realizes the human impulse that prompts people to dance" (Alastair Macaulay, New York Times).

 "Surveillance". An innovative collaboration of contemporary dance, interactive video design and animation exploring the impact of social networks on our daily lives and our society.  "A thoughtful, challenging, provocative dance with heightened visual, musical, and kinetic qualities that grab and hold you from start to finish. It doesn’t get better than that, and I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to see ZviDance perform Gotheiner’s work – for the world. (Ballet Review).

 "Escher/Bacon/Rothko". A critically acclaimed, abstract, dance and movement interpretation capturing the painterly images of three 20th century modern art masters. "Simply gorgeous and sophisticated" (Berkshire Eagle, Jacob’s Pillow).

Zvi has created numerous commissioned works for prestigious companies, institutions and universities around the world, including Repertory Dance Theatre Utah, GroundWorks Dance Theatre, Juilliard Dance New Dances, Princeton, NYU, Ohio State University, University of Washington, Bard College, Vassar College.

ZviDance performs frequently at home in New York City at venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival, Dance Now Festival, Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors. The company has been featured in festivals, including the American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow, and tours internationally in Germany, Poland, Russia, Israel, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Japan.

Born in Israel, the musically gifted young Zvi encountered a performance of the Batsheva Dance Company that forever changed his life, inviting him "into a world of fantasy and self-definition".  As a young dancer/choreographer, he was discovered by the legendary Gertrud Kraus, who took him under her wing. Following a dance scholarship with the America-Israeli Cultural Foundation, he began dancing throughout the world with Batsheva Dance Company, Joyce Trisler, Eliot Feld, among others.

 He founded the Tamar Ramle Dance Company, a herald of the Israel dance fringe movement, and later directed the Tamar Jerusalem Dance Company. Increasingly drawn to New York City, he moved in 1988, and in 1989 founded ZviDance.


"In these increasingly tumultuous and volatile times, the creative process is the most powerful force in my life. I aspire to make my work reflect on the "now". While making new movement phrases, I shed sequences imprinted in my memory, such as those in ballet, folk dance and numerous contemporary genres, and research the invention of new ones with my collaborators.

 I'll have the sense there's a piece in me, maybe not in verbal form but in my consciousness, a sculpture in the stone. There is research and a process but, in the end, I'm always surprised by how it comes together. It's richer and more interesting when I don't know where I'm going.

 My starting point is the body. I allow for greater collaboration with the dancers and project designers. I have shifted my role from a "knowing" director to a collaborator seeking to discover the evolution of ideas. I have incorporated a system of critical response and feedback that are now essential for me in the creation of new movement vocabulary and the overall shape of a given work. This loose system allows me to invent a new creative process tailored to each work, and a flow of creative intelligence from an entire team. The more deeply I observe the creative process, the more mysterious making something from nothing becomes. I feel lucky to have these opportunities to immerse in invention, and a remarkable group of collaborators that brings it all together."

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