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LABA Presents MOTHER.NET This Weekend

LABA Presents MOTHER.NET This Weekend

LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture, working in collaboration with choreographer Renana Raz, whose work has been called "brilliant" by the Israeli press, is pleased to announce the first-ever international production of MOTHER.NET. The show aims to take the usually isolated experience of watching YouTube videos and turns it into a public experience. Artists will respond to YouTube clips on the theme of mother through dance, theater, music, storytelling, and audience interaction.

MOTHER.NET will run today, June 19th through Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 at the Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 E 14th St, NY, NY 10003). Opening night is Thursday, June 19th at 7:30pm. To reserve your free tickets and for more information visit

The show will feature new works from David Deblinger (Co-founder Labyrinth Theatre Company), Adi Ezroni (Prisoners of War), Napoleon W Gladney* (Wicked, The Musical's Emerald City Tour), Yehuda Hyman* (Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award), Julie Gayer Kris (Avodah Dance), Nadav Lev (Andres Segovia Award; Carnegie Hall), Ronit Muszkatblit and Renana Raz (YouMake, ReMake; Israeli Theatre Award's Choreography Award Winner for Osher).

MOTHER. NET will run for the following performances:

Thursday, June 19th at 7:30 pm

Friday, June 20th at 7:30pm

Saturday, June 21st at 7:30 pm

Sunday, June 22nd at 3 pm

The Theater at the 14th Street Y is located at 344 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003

*Appearing Courtesy of Actors' Equity Association


DAVID DEBLINGER as an actor has appeared in new plays in New York at Manhattan Theater Club, The Public Theater, Labyrinth, The New Group, Theater for a New Audience and others. Regionally at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (Winner Best Lead actor-Acclaim Award), Williamstown Theater Festival, The Old Globe and others. On TV he has been seen on "Law and Order, SVU", "Sex and the City", "The Sopranos", the recent Showtime Pilot "Happyish" (with Philip Seymour Hoffman), and more. He is also a co-founder of Labyrinth Theater Company. As a filmmaker David won the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship as a video artist and wrote, directed and acted in the award winning short film, The Call Back starring Sam Rockwell. This is dedicated to two lovely ladies: Tomoko and Charlotte.

NAPOLEON W GLADNEY is currently an Arts Administrator at the 14th Street Y working with the Theater at the 14th Street Y and LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture. He is signed with MSA Talent Agency NYC, working on his own choreographic pursuits, and is a dance fitness instructor with ((305)) Fitness. Napoleon is from Los Angeles, California, has a BFA in dance performance from Chapman University in Southern California where he has received numerous awards and recognitions from the department of dance for performance, outstanding contributions, and choreography. He has diverse training in ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, African, and musical theater, which all melds together to form his technical, thoughtful, and evocative movement. With this diverse background he has had the opportunity to perform with various companies and ensembles, including Odyssey Dance Theatre, Backhausdance, and The Dance Cartel. In addition he has performed with production companies, hip hop dance teams, and at several ACDF Galas and National American College Dance Festivals including New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Napoleon has also performed and choreographed for recording artists Agnes, Shinedown, Ricky Rebel, and the New Deco Orchestra. Other commercial credits include Bud-Lite, iBillionaire, and The Amazing Spider Man. Napoleon was recently a featured dance and ensemble member of Wicked The Musical's Emerald City Tour. While with Wicked, Napoleon has choreographed and performed in productions benefiting Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS including a Wicked Rocky Horror Picture Show which debuted to sold out audiences in Denver, CO and the Tropicana Las Vegas. Napoleon was the assistant choreographer/director for the Off Broadway show Spandex The Musical in NYC. As a choreographer and teacher, Napoleon has had the opportunity to travel to teach master classes and set choreography on dance companies, teams, and studios all over the United States. He was a teacher with Broadway Connection. Napoleon has served as the artistic director and choreographer for his own dance organizations, theCompanyProject and The Core Collective. The companies have been honored with the opportunity to be a performance artist in residence for the Lincoln Center Institute's Teacher Education Program, various industrial events, and as a finalist in the Sadler's Wells Global Dance Contest. Napoleon also loves to share his passion for dance through writing. He was the primary dance writer for the Orange County Arts and Culture Magazine.

YEHUDA HYMAN is a playwright, actor, dancer, choreographer, poet and storyteller who makes Dance Theater works. He was born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents from Poland and Russia. He began his training when he traveled to Brussels, Belgium at age 16 to attend Maurice Bejart's multidisciplinary theater/dance school, MUDRA. Following a career as a professional dancer and choreographer (Broadway, film, television, concert stage), Mr. Hyman began writing. His plays include The Mad Dancers, David in Shadow and Light (co-written with Daniel Hoffman), Center of the Star, Swan Lake Calhoun, I Ask You, Ladies and Gentlemen (adapted from the memoir by Leon Surmelian) and Max, Rapunzel and the Night. His Dance Theater works have been produced at the McCarter Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theater, Theatre J, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Beast Theater, Piven Theatre Workshop, Highways Performance Space, The Marsh and the Mark Taper Forum. Honors include the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, Heideman Award, grants from the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity, Foundation for Jewish Culture, a Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center of Minneapolis and an National Endowment of the Arts /TCG Playwright-in-Residence grant to work with Cornerstone Theater of Los Angeles. He is an Associate Artist with Cornerstone Theater. His poetry and prose have been published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Northern California Jewish Bulletin, Minnesota Monthly, Revue Alsacienne de Litterature, Recours au Poème and Seeing Jewish and Israeli Dance, published by Wayne State University Press. He has translated the work of German poet, Eva-Maria Berg. Mr. Hyman has recently acted in New York City with Target Margin Theater and with The Civilians. He is currently an Artist Fellow at the LABA House of Study at the 14th St Y in New York City. He received his BA in Interdisciplinary Performance from Empire State College, SUNY and his MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College. He has been a guest teacher at Sarah Lawrence College, Princeton University, University of Southern California, Barnard College, New York University, Goucher College, Whittier College and the Rhodopi Institute in Smolyan, Bulgaria.

NADAV LEV is an Andrés Segovia Award winner (Música en Compostela, Spain), Israeli guitarist, and composer. Nadav was hailed by Classical Guitar Magazine as "a talented and engagingly musical performer". His Carnegie Hall debut was described as a "sensitive and nuanced performance" and his debut album "a CD to savor and delight in... His playing is of the utmost authority". Awards include AICF's prestigious Abroad Studies Award, Joaquin Rodrigo Award (Jerusalem Guitar Competition) and Artists International. Lev's music has been played in concert and theater venues. He performs throughout the US, Israel and Europe, in venues such as Lincoln Center and Merkin Hall, with an extraordinary variety of styles and forms - from classical to rock to improvised music.

RONIT MUSZKABLIT is the co-artistic director of LABA at the 14th in Israel. She is a theater director and the founding member of woken'glaicer theater company and Operatzia as well as a member of posttheater ny/berlin. Ronit curates and directs in various capacities with a focus ion opera, theater and multi disciplinary events. Her most recent directing credits include all the LABALive events and the operas SPHINX (Culturemart HERE) and 3WEEKS (MAP grant, 14th St Y) both by Yoav Gal . Her most recent theater credits include: Hanna and the Moonlit Dress by Itzchak D'miel (14th St Y), Nature of Captivity by Mathew Paul Olmos (Mabou Mines Suite @ PS 122), Cantaloupe by Gina Bonati (Boston); ON ART, an adaptation of Art by Yasmina Reza (Rohkunst Bau, Berlin); It is said the men are over in the steel tower by Hideo Tsuchida,(TBG Theater, NYC); Struwwelmensch (Rohkunst Bau Festival, Berlin);) Matchmaker Matchmaker (Stadts Bank Berlin); Quartet by Heiner Müller (Westbeth Theater, NYC); The Child Dreams by Hanoch Levin (Staged Reading 59E59, NYC). Ronit received her MFA in directing from the Actors Studio Drama School and trained at La Mama Umbria (Italy) and with Siti Company.

RENANA RAZ is a leading voice in the young generation of Israeli choreographers, pursuing various fields of artistic genres, both on stage as a choreographer and dancer and both on screen (television and cinema). Raz began creating independently in 1999 (among her pieces: We Have Been Called To Go; Asking For Starts; Phantoms; MOTEL; Kazuaria; Ov). In 2002 and 2003 she won the Israeli Ministry of Culture award for young choreographers' consecutively. In 2004 Raz won the Best Choreography Award at the Israeli Theatre Awards for the theatre play Osher directed by Miki Gurevitz (Jerusalem Khan Theater). During 2006 Renana received the Young Artist Rosenblum Award and the Ministry of Culture Award for choreographers. In 2007-2008 Raz received the Teva grants for choreography. Raz's creations have appeared on stages in Israel, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Holland, Japan, Denmark, Cameroon , England, Russia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Korea and the United States to the acclaim of both audiences and theatre/dance critics. Renana Raz has received grants from the Yehoshua Rabinovitz Foundation, the National Lottery Company, BI-ARTS (the British Council's British Israeli Arts Training Scheme), and the Buchman Heiman foundation. In 2009 Raz has resided and created in Dallas, Texas as an 'artist in residency' at UTD and Centraltrack with the support of the Schusterman Family Foundation. In 2010 Raz has created a multi-disciplinary project entitled YouMake, ReMake, responses to YouTube clips on stage. This ongoing project has won national and international interest and success. In 2011 she created The Diplomats, this piece was commissioned by the Suzanne Dellal Center. Raz is the artistic director of Contact Point event in the Israeli Museum in Jerusalem.

ADI EZRONI is an actress and film producer. She is one of the lead actresses in the Israeli TV series "Prisoners of War" ("Hatufim" the Israeli series "Homeland" is based on). Her films as producer include "A Late Quartet" starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken, "The English Teacher" starring Julianne Moore, and the upcoming "Kelly & Cal" starring Juliette Lewis.

JULIE GAYER KRIS has been the Artistic Director of Avodah Dance since 2004. She has been teaching and performing dance and movement for over 20 years. Julie has an eclectic background in dance and movement; she is a certified yoga instructor through the American Viniyoga Institute (since 1999), and she has studied modern dance, improvisation, and choreography with Helen Barrow (Merce Cunnigham), Karen Steele (Lar Lubovitch), KT Niehoff, Tere O'Connor, and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. While living in Hawaii, Julie danced with a Halau Hula, Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka, dancing traditional and contemporary Hawaiian dances. She toured the Hawaiian Islands for Dance Quake, a Hawaii State Dance Festival, performing with Hawaii State award winning choreographer David Ward. Julie also studied yoga and classical South Indian dance, Bharata Natyam, while staying in Chennai, India. During her stay there, Julie was invited by T.K.V. Desikachar to perform in sacred ceremonies at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. With the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and Anna Halprin, she learned about creating community-based dances. Julie is a certified Planetary Dance leader under Anna Halprin and began leading the 30 year-old community dance ritual in 2010. Julie has been leading movement workshops, residencies, and retreats for all levels and ages since 1996. Julie leads Text Study through Movement (Dance Midrash), using movement to bring new meanings to traditional text study and ritual for students and congregants at schools, synagogues, churches, community centers, rabbinical and seminary schools and more. With Avodah, Julie leads dance residencies in women's correctional facilities throughout the East Coast, facilitating participants to create their own movement phrases and participate in dance building and performance. As a teaching artist and artist fellow with LABA, a Jewish house of study for culture makers located at the 14th Street Y (2009-2013), Julie integrates text study to create several dance events and performance pieces, including an intergenerational performance involving professional dancers as well as those with no dance training. Julie has a unique ability to make movement and dance accessible to all, helping people to connect with their bodies and minds in a way that is engaging, playful and revealing. Julie attended Jewish Day School until fourth grade, had a Bat Mitzvah and was confirmed. She enjoys exploring her Jewish heritage through the art of dance. Being a part of Avodah has truly deepened her understanding and connection to Jewish culture and spirituality. Currently, Julie lives with her husband Stephen Kris, a goldsmith, and their son, Mars Dylan, a budding movement and visual artist, in Greenwich Village, New York City.

LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture is a program of the 14th Street Y that uses classic Jewish texts toinspire the creation of art, dialogue and study. Part of LABA is our House of Study, an artist fellowship program for which 10 to 15 culture-makers, a mix of visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians, actors and others, are brought together to partake in a serious study of classic Jewish texts in a non-religious, open-minded setting. The fellows use the study to inspire work which is featured in our bi-monthly online journal and our series of LABAlive events and performances. Our goal at LABA is to present Judaism's rich literary and intellectual tradition in a free and creative setting, so that these stories and ideas spark new thought and art. The creative output from our House of Study pushes the boundaries of what Jewish art can be and what Jewish texts can teach.

Pictured: Israeli artist Renana Raz. Photo Courtesy of Renana Raz.

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