roni Koresh


Roni Koresh is an Israeli-American choreographer whose work presents “a wealth of forceful invention” (Art Burst Miami). Koresh has established a repertoire of over 60 works “rang[ing] from intimate to high-voltage” (Northwestern Press). He develops 2 to 3 new works each year including commissions for notable companies across the country. His work has been supported by Pew Charitable Trusts, the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Jerome Robbins Foundation, among others.

Earthy, folk-dancey, emotionally direct, physically intense, and ostentatiously eccentric.

Koresh’s work represents his experience of both Israeli and American cultures.  Born and raised in Israel, he received early dance training from his mother, a folk dancer in the Yemenite tradition. He then joined Martha Graham’s Batsheva 2 Dance Company before enlisting in the Israeli army. Koresh integrates each of these influences into his choreography, which draws its strong sense of humanity, sweeping circle patterns, military precision, and Middle Eastern flavor from his life in Israel.

In 1983, Koresh moved to New York to study at Alvin Ailey, solidifying his strong foundation in ballet, Horton and Graham techniques. He soon began performing with Shimon Braun’s Waves Jazz Dance Company in Philadelphia, where he studied Luigi Jazz and developed the muscular isolations and periods of continuous movement that define his style today. At this time, he also began to draw from club dancing, hip hop, and pedestrian gesture. A consummate observer and movement chameleon, this prolific choreographer builds his movement repertoire from any genre that can best make his point clear. Undefined by any one school of movement, Koresh calls his style simply “Dance.” “If a movement fits, I use it,” says Koresh. “It is about using movement to communicate, not about adhering to a particular style.” And communicate it does, leading audiences to laughter, tears, and awe within a single program.

Committed to exploring human relationships, perception, and change, Koresh produces contemporary dance that is highly technical and deeply resonant, acclaimed by critics as both innovative and accessible. “Athletic, exuberant, [and] disciplined” (Cincinnati Enquirer), Koresh choreography displays a quick wit, “big-heartedness, and … humor” (Reading Eagle).

As Roni creates and develops his work, he continues to be an artistic resource and leading force in the Philadelphia community.