Presented by KlezCalifornia

Hasidic Dance – A Mitsveh to be Joyful, with Bruce Bierman


Sun May 31 2020


1:30 pm - 3:30 pm


East Bay

Location 2


The Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), founder of the Hasidic movement, was once asked, “Why is it that your Hasidim burst into song and dance at the slightest provocation? Is this really the behavior of sane individuals?” Indeed, song and dance are at the center of this unique expression of mystic Judaism, designed to open the heart quickly and connect friend to friend in a circle of community. Folklorists also considered it one of the two authentic sources of Jewish dance. In this workshop, we will learn basic Hasidic step patterns, line formations, partnering, and symbolic hand gestures with great care and context. We will also learn to sing soulful nigns (wordless melodies) to accompany our dancing. Finally, we will explore the Hasidic influence on secular klezmer and Israeli folk dance. Oh, and the Baal Shem Tov’s answer to the question posed to him:  “…..(I)f we are moved by the melody of Life and this makes us appear meshugeh (crazy) to those with less sensitive ears, should we stop dancing?”

Join klezmer dance leader Bruce Bierman in this two-hour workshop. To reserve a space, RSVP to The workshop will be held at Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley, CA 94705.

A $25 donation is requested for the workshop from everyone in the room. Light snacks are provided. For general information on KlezCalifornia workshops, click on More Info below.

More info about Bruce Bierman.

This workshop is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in partnership with the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation.

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