“A New Year” Song and Dance of Hope and Peace for Rosh Hashanah

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In 2016, 92Y’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Life commissioned “A New Year,” a song of hope and peace from songwriter Michael Ochs, as part of our #NewYearPrayer initiative. Now, in celebration of the Jewish New Year 5778 in September, 2017, we unveil a new video for “A New Year,” adding the beauty and artistry of dance to the powerful non-denominational message of unity and shared humanity.

The dance video was the brainchild of Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, 92Y’s Director of Jewish Community and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, himself a lifelong dance fan. 92Y invited a diverse range of artists from around the world, whose work encompasses a wide variety of styles, to participate.

“Adding the beautiful, wordless language of dance as a visual to the lyrics struck me as the perfect metaphor for the song’s message of unity especially in the wake of Charlottesville.” comments Rabbi Rubinstein. “I hope it will touch people’s hearts and souls again this year.”

The artists were given the song and concept – a message of hope, inspiration, unity and peace realized through dance – and asked to choreograph a verse of their choosing. 92Y shot most of the dances around New York; a few filmed themselves – including Pilobolus, who used drones to shoot from overhead – and sent the footage to 92Y for editing.

92Y has been called “a temple of modern dance” and such artists as Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey and Katherine Dunham made their debuts on its stage.

Dancers & Locations

The Ailey School and Ailey Extension
Location: Ailey Studio
Thanks to Robert Battle and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Our history began together in 1958 when Mr. Ailey launched his company with the premiere of Blues Suite at 92Y.

Anajnu Veatem Compañía de Danza Judía en México
Location: Mexico City, Mexico, on the Paseo de la Reforma
Filming was on a Sunday when the avenue is closed to regular transit so the citizens can walk and ride bicycles. Anajnu Veatem is a traditional Judeo-Mexican dance troupe based in Mexico, founded in 1971.

AXIS Dance Company
Location: Oakland, CA
AXIS – under the artistic direction of Marc Brew – is a pioneer of integrated dance whose mission is the commissioning, creation, and performance of contemporary dance developed through the collaboration of dancers with and without physical disabilities.

Buglisi Dance Theatre
Location: New York’s West Side Piers with the Freedom Tower in the background
Buglisi is known for 9/11 tribute project “Table of Silence,” performed annually on September 11.

Dancing Classrooms
Location: Madison Square Park, NY
Dancing Classrooms is a ballroom dance organization founded Pierre Dulaine whose mission is to cultivate essential life skills in children through the art of social dance.

92Y Dance Education Laboratory – DEL
Location: Central Park, NY

FlexN
Location: Harlem, NY at the Clinton Global Initiative building
FlexN is an acclaimed New York-based dance troupe that uses the Brooklyn street dance form known as flex.

Limón Dance Company
Location: New York dance studio
Hailed as one of the world’s greatest dance companies, the Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of American Modern dance since its inception in 1946.

Pilobolus
Location: Washington Depot, CT, with filming by drones
Pilobolus is an internationally acclaimed arts organization renowned for its unique, diverse collaborations that break the barriers between creative disciplines. The company is committed to constantly making things, always creating collaboratively, and continually exploring new ways of using the human body as a graphic and expressive medium.

STREB Extreme Action Company and STREB Kid Company
Location: STREB Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM), Williamsburg, NY
Excerpted from “Air” by Elizabeth Streb
This is the first time for the Extreme Action and Kid companies have combined to dance together.

Te Ao Mana
Location: Coney Island, NY
Te Ao Mana is a troupe of professional dancers from Hawaii.

Yin Yue
Sakura Park, New York