ZOOZ Israeli Dancing School
Main Menu
About Us
Adult Classes
News and Events
Photo Gallery
About the Teachers
About the Staff
ZOOZ Bulletins
Dance Steps
Recent dances taught
Radio Harkada
Rokdim Dance Videos
Contact Us
Sonata PDF Print E-mail


IT ALL STARTED WHEN......In late December 2005 I attended the wonderful Machol Miami Israeli dance workshop in Florida USA.  This is a camp that I highly recommend all round - great organisation, great choreographers, great dancers, great fun, great accommodation and great food. Gee...can you tell I liked it?
Many of the best dances I learned at the camp, Belinda and I taught at our ZOOZ workshop recently. All still remain very popular at our sessions.

After attending Machol Miami, I also attended  Ira Weisburd's International and Israeli dance workshop (also in Miami) over New Year's.   I returned to Melbourne simply bursting to teach a real gem......"SONATA", choreographed by my friend, Ira Weisburd. We at ZOOZ, were the world's FIRST to teach this dance when we introduced it at our Australia Day Party in January 2006, to very high acclaim. In fact, until very recently, Sonata remained exclusive to ZOOZ. It  is still one of our most popular and requested dances at our Tuesday morning and Thursday evening classes Intermediate to Intermediate Plus classes (Levels 4/5) and all visitors to our classes are quickly captivated by this dance.
Video & Photos....

How did it all come about? ......

I first heard just a snippet of the music of Sonata as I was leaving the dance hall at the end of a teaching session. I immediately returned and enquired what that beautiful music was. Ira said - "oh it's nothing, just some music to a dance I have choreographed but it isn't anything special". He was VERY blase about it! I then begged Ira to show me the steps of the dance. I literally held my breath because I was very afraid that the dance would not do the music justice! I was definitely NOT disappointed! The steps flowed so beautifully to the haunting music. I said to Ira immediately, that I thought it was a simply magnificent dance and that of all the dances that I had learned at the 2 workshops, this was going to be the FIRST dance I was going to teach when I got back to Melbourne. Ira was very modest.He totally underestimated how good this dance was. He told me that he really did not think that mainstream Israeli dancing sessions would like it. He had not intended to release it to the Israeli dancing circles at all. He had only planned to teach it in his Saturday International session in Sth Florida. However, I cajoled him into teaching it at his workshop so that I could learn it well enough to teach when I came back home.


I naturally told Ira about the wonderful response from all of our ZOOZ dancers after I taught it in 2 of our classes in January 2006 and suggested that he tries them out in mainstream classes in Miami. So Ira then became confident to release it to other Israeli dancing sessions in Florida. Nissim Ben-Ami (a dance leader in Miami)  saw the dance and of course, loved it, as did Peggy Elimelech & Connie Goldstein who lead the other large sessions in Miami. Sonata very quickly became popular in South Florida. And the rest, as they say, is history!!!

I can only wonder what would have been if I had not heard those opening bars of the music!!...Sonata would most likely have remained only in Ira's International dance group forever - lost to the entire world!

Sonata Dance Video Sonata Dance Video Sonata Dance Video
I am now so very proud, thrilled and excited to announce, that "Sonata" has just last weekend (May 2006) been taught at a dance camp in Washington, USA (Hora Aviv) to rave reviews and has also just been taught in a session in Jerusalem. It has been received with the same enthusiasm from all the participants that we have had in our classes!! No-one sits during this dance!!    
Sonata Video 
Sonata is being demonstrated & danced by Ira, Nissim Ben-Ami and Sharon. Click on the > button.

You may also see the video from  either HERE or HERE .

The beautiful original music (no vocals) was written by Loreena McKennitt and is called ""Tango to Evora"." At ZOOZ we prefer the Albanian version of the music (used in the video clip) to the Hebrew version, however, we are still testing out a few! 
Sonata Dance Video Sonata Dance Video Sonata Dance Video

I think the dance should be renamed "Richelle's Sonata" don't you?  :)

At ZOOZ we also enjoy Ira's dances, the classic -B'oi Malka and his new dance - Shuj Shuj Zemer.

NB. Sonata has just been taught (July 2006) at 2 other dance groups in Melbourne to very high acclaim. Nissim Ben-Ami recently moved from Miami back to Israel, and has taught Sonata in his new dance sessions. Ira also tells me that teachers from all over Israel are asking Nissim to come to teach Sonata in their sessions. He has taught it to 1,000 dancers at Tel Aviv University and many other large sessions in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It has also already been voted "Dance of the Year" in a class led by teacher Aveda Ayalon in Jerusalem.

It makes me so proud and happy to know that many dancers all around the world, are now enjoying this graceful dance! Let me tell you...Ira is so thrilled with the dance's success. Me? I am simply ecstatic!! Ira thinks I am psychic! I predicted that "Sonata" would be an enormous success, immediately after I first saw the dance in Miami. Ira screwed up his face as though he thought I was a little crazy! :)

On July 14th 2006, THe music for "Sonata" was released on a CD and the dance was taught by Nissim Ben Ami at the latest Hishtalmut in Tel Aviv - ie. this is where all the creators/teachers get together to teach the best of the latest Israeli dances to each other. It is then videod and distributed to teachers all around the world by Rokdim. YAY!! This is unbelievable.....even I am finding it hard to believe that this is all happening. Ira is elated!

December 5th 2006 - Ira just told me today that Sonata is being danced in Taiwan and Sri Lanka. A few months ago it was taught in Malaysia. (Christian Folk Dancing group). I informed Ira that an Israeli dancer from Maui, Hawaii had contacted me after coming across Sonata on "Google" and asked me for the music so she could learn it. Yes ...there is Israeli dancing in Honolulu and Mauii!! So that still leaves Africa, Alaska and Antartica!!

Richelle Arber (2006)

March 2008 - Sonata is still the most requested dance in our repertoire. :-)
< Prev   Next >
(C) 2022 ZOOZ Israeli Dancing School
Dance Store Melbourne, Australia