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Zemach, Benjamin

ZEMACH, BENJAMIN

ZEMACH, BENJAMIN (1903–1987), dancer, actor, choreographer, stage director and drama teacher. Born in Russia as the young brother of Nachum Zemach, the founder and leader of the Habimah theater in Moscow with whom he went to the U.S. in 1926. Zemach was active during the 1930s as dancer and choreographer in many progressive left-wing productions organized by such companies as the New Dance Group and other trade-unions-based artistic initiatives in New York during the Great Depression. He opened an independent modern dance school in Los Angeles. His choreographic work was based on Jewish as well as socially conscious themes. He choreographed several large-scale productions at the Hollywood Bowl and created the choreography for Max Reinhardt's film The Eternal Road (1936).

In 1971 he came to live in Israel, teaching and producing at the Kibbutz Seminar in Tel Aviv, choreographing for Inbal Dance Theater, finally settling in Jerusalem, where he died in 1987.

[Giora Manor (2nd ed.)]

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