Jill and Amnon Damti, a deaf and hearing dance duo from Israel performs Two Worlds

by | Nov 21, 2016 | What’s Happening

Sunday, Dec. 11, 6 pm
Museum of Contemporary Art

An Israeli deaf and hearing dance duo from Israel, Jill and Amnon Damti will perform, Two Worlds, where the worlds of silence and sound are creatively meshed into a moving dance performance.

The Damtis use pantomime, sign language and fluid movement to engage the audience in an interactive format—a dance narrative that challenges any preconceived notion of human limitations. Their message, “anything is possible” has grown out of their own unique love story.

The likelihood that this couple would meet, fall in love, marry, have two children, win international dance awards (Best International Deaf Dancer), perform at the White House, and travel the globe sharing their collaborative dance message, is testimony to the very idea that “anything is possible.”

Deaf at birth, Amnon, at age five, walked with his Yemenite parents on foot to Israel, where he was placed in a special boarding school for the deaf. After seeing the Bolshoi perform on TV at age 10, he knew wanted to dance.

At 15, he went to a high school in Tel Aviv where he discovered a unique dance group comprised of deaf dancers, Moshe Efratis Kol Demama (The Voice of Silence). A quick study, he absorbed the techniques of classic, jazz and modern dance. He soon became their star, struck out on his own and formed the dance group, Chushihi (The Sixth Sense).

A U.S. citizen, Jill Feingold, a professional gymnast and water-ballet artist who often performed with dolphins, made aliyah to Israel at age 23. A chance meeting inspired her to learn sign language and she joined his dance troupe. The rest of their love story is history.

Amnon says he moves in coordination with Jill without hearing by feeling “the vibrations of the base sounds and the beat…there are many signs we use between us, and we constantly keep eye and touch contact,” according to published reports.

International renown sign language interpreter Mindy Brown will interpret during their performance at the MOCA. Parents also have the option to enroll kids in a Children’s Art Workshop to make “tunnel art” while they enjoy Two Worlds.

This performance marks the fourth event in the Israel Today series sponsored by Charles Barker Automotive presented by the Simon Family JCC, the Community Relations Council of UJFT and community partners. For more information or to purchase tickets for the event or the workshop, visit www. JewishVA.org/IsraelToday.

Sherri Wisoff