LeeSaar The Company to Make Joyce Theater Debut, 2/8-9

LeeSaar The Company will make its Joyce debut with three performances February 8 - 9. This Joyce Theater Foundation presentation of the 13-year old Brooklyn-based company marks the New York premiere of Grass and Jackals by founders Lee Sher and Saar Harari. Tickets are $10-$25, and can be purchased through JoyceCharge at www.Joyce.org, or by calling 212-242-0800. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street, in Chelsea.

Founded in Israel in 2000 by Lee Sher and Saar Harir, two young choreographers who also manage Gaga USA (a style of movement meant to generate fluid body motion, created by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, of Batsheva Dance Company), LeeSaar The Company makes its Joyce debut with the New York premiere of Grass and Jackals. Quite possibly the company's most ambitious work, Grass and Jackals is both a dance piece and a light spectacle with an intricate lighting design by frequent collaborator Bambi. The work, created from four years of research exploring how to translate the extreme conditions of military life to the stage, aims to push the physical and emotional boundaries of both performers and audiences, moving from one climax to the next, with music that creates an atmosphere of an unknown terrain.

Lee Sher (Co Artistic Director) began her acting career at the age of seven, performing on Israeli television. At the age of 15, she was accepted to the High School of Arts in Tel Aviv. Lee joined the Israeli Army at 18 and served in the parachuters unit. Following her Army service, Lee studied at the three-year acting studio of Nisan Native in Tel Aviv. She received scholarships from the American-Israeli Foundation between the years 1998-2000. In 2000, Lee established LeeSaar The Company with Saar Harari. The Company received a scholarship from the Mosman Art Gallery in Sydney, Australia, where she wrote and directed the play, Ester, which was selected to open the spring season of the City Hall Theater of Tel Aviv and was performed there for two years. Lee moved to New York City with LeeSaar The Company and obtained a U.S. green card because of her extraordinary achievement in the performing arts. A NYFA fellow in choreography, Sher also worked as physical director on the Broadway revival of The Miracle Worker. She is a certified Gaga teacher.

Saar Harari (Co Artistic Director) was born on a farm in Israel to an artistic family and danced until the age of 18 when he joined the Israeli Army and served in the special forces for 6 years. At the age of 24, he left the Army and returned to the dance world, where he danced with several Israeli choreographers. After two years, he created his first work as an independent choreographer for a dance festival at Suzann Dalal Center in Tel Aviv. In 2000, he established LeeSaar The Company with Lee Sher. In February 2004, Saar moved to New York City with LeeSaar The Company, and obtained a U.S. green card because of his extraordinary achievement in the performing arts. He is a Six Point Fellow from 2007-09, Guggenheim Fellow 2008, NYFA Fellow 2008. Saar is a Gaga teacher and manager of Gaga/USA.

Avi Yona Bueno, Bambi (Lighting Designer) began his career as a lighting designer for rock concerts. He has designed shows for international stars including Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Chick Corea. In the 1980s, Bambi moved to London, where he worked for the Pink Floyd lighting company and Britannia Row Productions. He also did lighting design for Meatloaf and toured Europe with popular artists including The Cure, The Commodores, and the Thompson Twins. Upon his return to Israel, Bambi began designing for the theater. He worked with prestigious repertory theaters such as the Cameri Theatre and the Habima National Theatre as well as fringe and experimental Theater Productions. Bambi currently serves as the resident lighting designer for the Gesher Theatre and the avant-garde Itim Theatre Ensemble. He has been widely acclaimed for his impact on the field of lighting design in theater and was honored with numerous awards including the 1995 Moshe Halevi Tel Aviv Prize for transforming lighting design into an art form. In 1992, Bambi began designing for dance with Batsheva Dance Company, where he is Resident Lighting Designer. Bambi has lit productions for such renowned dance companies as the Cullberg Ballet, Carte Blanche, Nederlans Dans Theater, Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Bambi's lighting has also illuminated numerous operas, musicals, stadium productions, teleVision Productions, museum installations, and architectural projects. He is in the process of developing his Tel Aviv studio for creating lighting installations.

Gaga is a new way of gaining knowledge and self-awareness through the body that provides a framework for discovering and strengthening the body and adding flexibility, stamina, and agility while igniting the senses and imagination. Gaga raises awareness of physical weaknesses, awakens numb areas, exposes physical fixations, and offers ways for their elimination. The work improves instinctive movement and connects conscious and unconscious movement, and it allows for an experience of freedom and pleasure in a simple way, in a pleasant space, in comfortable clothes, accompanied by music. According to Ohad Naharin, founder of Gaga and Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, through Gaga, "we become more aware of our form. We connect to the sense of the endlessness of possibilities. We explore multi-dimensional movement; we enjoy the burning sensation in our muscles, we are ready to snap, we are aware of our explosive power and sometimes we use it. We change our movement habits by finding new ones. We go beyond our familiar limits. We can be calm and alert at once."

LeeSaar The Company makes its Joyce Theater debut February 8 - 9 with the following performance schedule: Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are $10-$25 and can be purchased through JoyceCharge at www.Joyce.org, or by calling 212-242-0800. Please note: Tickets prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street, in Chelsea. For more information, please visit www.joyce.org.

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