Yasmeen Godder (b.1973, Jerusalem) is an Israeli dance choreographer and Director of Yasmeen Godder Company who has been described as “a leading choreographer of the Isareli new wave” (The Guardian).
Yasmeen’s movement research and creations have revolved around themes of human connection, national identity, empathy, and movement disorders. Since 2014, she has brought together dance professionals and people living with Parkinson's disease through classes at the Yasmeen Godder Studio in Jaffa. Her work “Common Emotions” (2016) was the result of a year-long, collaborative research project on Parkinson’s and dance titled “Störung/Hafraah” (“disorder” in German) with Monica Gillette at Theatre Freiburg. Recently, Yasmeen has been working on “Practicing Empathy,” a long-term movement research project that has engaged with a combination of performances and workshops to examine empathy and what motivates us to identify with others as well as ourselves.
Yasmeen is the 2017 recipient of the Shimon Peres Prize and a grant from The Ted Arison Family Foundation for her MOVING COMMUNITIES conference investigating Parkinson’s disease, creativity, body and community. To date Yasmeen has created 14 evening-length works, including commissions for Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Batsheva Dance Company, Theater Freiburg, and the Candoco Dance Company.
Monica Gillette brings over 20 years experience in performance making, both for stage and film, as well as expertise in artist driven networks, participatory projects and transdisciplinary research. Her recent work includes project dramaturgy for the EU funded projects Migrant Bodies – Moving Borders, Empowering Dance and Dancing Museums. She collaborates with Israeli choreographer Yasmeen Godder on her ongoing research and performance project, titled Practicing Empathy. Monica is currently co-leading Anatomy of Togetherness, a digital workshop series with collaborator Gary Joplin and supported by the Boulevard and What You See Festivals in Holland, dealing with the topic of Gender Identity. Since 2009 she h's been living and working in Freiburg, Germany.
Monica's first encounter with Yasmeen Godder was as an audience member in 2006 in NYC. She saw her ground-breaking work "Strawberry Cream and Gunpowder" and was forever altered in how she thought about making dance. In 2011 she travelled to Israel to meet Yasmeen in person. Since then Monica has been a creating performer in her work (Ghost Exercise – 2013), co-artistic director of Störung/Hafraah (2015-16), and now dramaturg for Yasmeen's Practicing Empathy project (2019-2021).
In Monica's own words: "I anticipate our friendship and collaboration to grow and transform for many years to come."