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Choreographer, Dancer, and Musician Dege Feder in Conversation with Dr. Shula Mola | Studio Israel

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Mar 28, 2023

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Studio Israel Presents: Dege Feder

(59 min) Dege Feder is a choreographer, dancer, and musician and recipient of the Israeli Ministry of Culture Prize for Young Dance Creators in 2018. She is the manager and choreographer of Beta Dance Troupe. Dege joined “Eskesta” dance troupe in 1999 and performed in many international festivals in Germany, France, Columbia, Croatia, South Africa, USA (New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago) and more. She also performed on the main stages in Israel. In 2010 she founded “Wozewaze” dance troupe that combines Ethiopian traditional and contemporary dance. Among other places, she performed with “Beta” in Ethiopia where she was invited to teach workshops in the Ethiopian National Theater. She performed in 2018 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and taught dance workshops in the USA. Dege works also as a dance teacher for empowering women and young girls in the Ethiopian community.

 

Dr. Shula Mola is a civil and human rights activist in various voluntary and professional frameworks. Shula served as chairperson of the Association for Ethiopian Jews (AEJ) for 10 years, prior to which she worked at the organization in various strategic positions, including Executive Director. Shula is a current scholar in resident at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

 

The Studio Israel conversation series was inaugurated in the fall of 2020, in partnership with the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University, and the Vilna Shul, and is made possible by generous support from Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). Studio Israel is also cosponsored by the Consulate General of Israel to New England. This peer-led series invites audiences to join leading artists, academics, and community leaders for a panoramic journey through the landscape of Israeli art, dance, food, fashion, and more, that investigates the diversity and nuance of Israel’s variegated social, cultural, and political aspects through the lens of the arts.

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JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture. Learn more at jartsboston.org.

Reflections

Dance is E V E R Y T H I N G

For Dege Feder, dance is a way of life. Do you have anything that you are this passionate about? What do you live and breathe?

Art, gender, and cultural norms/expectations

In the Q&A, Shayna asks Dege about the genders of the dancers she works with, and Dege says that she wishes she had male dancers but has found that women are "more free...with their bodies" and Ethipian men are less engaged with her style of contemporary dance. Why do you think this is? If you are an artist, do you find that are there cultural norms/expectations around gender in your art form or more specifically, in your larger societal culture around your art form?

 

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