Frequently Asked Questions
How Long have you been dancing?
I can't remember a time when I didn't twirl or want to leap into an inviting lawn or beach or run between the trees. Ask me about what the dancers wore on their heads, what they danced and what the music was like at the first dance concert I saw sitting next to my Grandma Firestone when I was three.
How long have you been working on the book?
In 1972 I was a bride living temporarily in Israel with my new husband. Selma Jeanne Cohen, the amazing founder-editor of America's important history magazine Dance Perspectives sent me a letter asking if I'd write about dancers in Israel, especially Sara Levi-Tanai. I only knew a bit about Gertrud Kraus, so I said I'd investigate. That set me on an amazing journey to meet the founders of Israeli folk dance and concert dance. See my 1974 monograph "Shorashim: The Roots of Israeli Folk Dance," which was updated as chapter 6 in my book 40 years later. Sara Levi-Tanai's own words are the basis for chapter 1.
In 1997, another serendipitous question came my way: my dance history honors student Lillian Stillwell at the University of MN (now a professional dancer in Germany) asked how could she help me on a dance research project? That was the basis of the "Jewish Dance" Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review (JFER) I edited, published in 2000. Shorashim and JFER became the basis for my new book Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance published by Wayne State University Press!
See my website www.jbriningber.com for details about my other published works.
Do you still perform?
I am always ready for what might come next, my own idea or someone else's. I have never stopped studying ballet and take class every week besides all kinds of other body work. I have a quiet little studio I rent above a busy Mpls studio with a garden in the back where I do my creative work. See Upcoming Events for my dates of performances, presentations and projects.