Inbal Dance Theater

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INBAL DANCE THEATER (inbal – Heb. "clapper" of a bell), Israel dance company based mainly on Yemenite traditions. It was founded in 1949 by Sara *Levi-Tannai, who became the company's choreographer and artistic director, and Ovadia Tuvia, its musical director. Its first performance was given in July 1950. At first, the company was supported by the Histadrut; later it received financial aid from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Ministry of Education. Inbal became a professional group in 1952. Levi-Tannai wrote songs which eventually were accepted among the new Israeli folk tunes. She devised a choreography synthesizing Yemenite tradition and Israeli shepherd dances. Inspiration for Inbal dances came also from the Ḥasidim and from the Jews of the *Hadramaut, and their movements reflected their desert environment. Dancing, singing, and acting were one indivisible unit. Sources of the Inbal repertoire are the religious traditions and the Bible. The group has performed Yemenite Wedding, Midnight Prayer, At the Well, Deborah, the Queen of Sheba, the Boy Samuel, and Ruth. Levi-Tannai received the Israel Prize in 1973 for her contribution to the Israeli dance. Two years later she passed away. In 2005 the manager of the dance company was Illana Cohen, who once danced under the guidance of Levi-Tannai.

[Yohanan Boehm /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]