We are choreographers and theater-makers Matan Zamir and Gal Naor, and together we create under the name The progressive wave, an ongoing performative project in which we collaborate and co-create with other creative minds.
We have both started our paths in the Israeli art scene as performers, Matan as a dancer and Gal as an actor and performer who is also a Sign Language interpreter. In 2014 we founded our Berlin-based creative independent with our first creation bodieSLANGuage (a collaboration of The progressive wave with duo-choreographers, matanicola, co-produced by Theater Freiburg and Ballhaus Ost, Berlin, and supported by the HKF, Berlin, where we collaborated with eight international deaf and hearing performers.
In our work, we combine dance, performance art, and visual art, along with political and spiritual studies. Our approach to the performance world is inclusive and based on the understanding that each body should move in its unique way and have a different kind of authentic expression. Including a diverse range of performers, our work is encouraging the empowerment of individual identities.
As Israeli artists who come from a place of conflict, we hold art has an essential role in today’s society. We wholeheartedly believe the art of today has the power to change the politics of tomorrow.
About our artistic profile
The progressive wave is an independent GbR company; we produce a variety of works, and both independent and commissioned activities, from dance and theater productions to art installations and site-specific projects, artistic/dramaturgical consultation, and workshops.
We believe in creating working environments where real collaborations can flourish from fruitful and honest encounters with other artists and artistic teams.
Our own creation processes we build on authentic explorations as we study specific themes together with our artistic collaborators, and jointly, we find performative and visual stage-translations to our research questions, which remain open throughout the process.
To each of our explorations, we insist on finding a unique physical-performative approach while paying importance to the aesthetic perspective, as we intend to fill each performative module with original visual meaning.
Bringing together choreography, performance art, and visual art, we experiment with the juxtaposition of different cultural and spiritual motives to examine their mutual fertilization in a thought-provoking theatric setting.
Apart from collaborating with artists from all fields, in the studio, we work with professional dancers, actors, and special performers (such as; deaf, autistic, down-syndrome, physically mixabled persons, and more). We strongly believe in the empowerment of the distinctiveness in each performing body. Moreover, we enhance the performative skills of our performers to come together as a group, bodily and mentally.
We strive for the integration of all kinds of creative performers and artists to celebrate and empower their uniqueness. In our post-Brecht theatric era, where dance became a very playful medium, we choose to enter profound and meaningful explorations together with all of our artistic collaborators, to question varied possible roles performance-art and dance can clasp today. We are interested in the welding of authentic physical searches with hidden or exposed meanings. As an extension to the Brechtian approach, we are aiming to bring theater and science closer together to infuse spiritual/political implications in an engaging performative-aesthetic scenery, in both educative and entertaining ways.
About our working methods
By combining a lively choreographic approach along with speech-acts, body-language, and Sign-Language, we cast content in a given performative unit, which can be abstract or communicative, and match the most fundamental aesthetic approach to portray each idea most accurately.
Gal Naor is an Israeli Sign Language interpreter, performer and theatre-maker. In 2004 he graduated from the theatre department of Thelma-Yellin High School of Arts. From 2008 to 2011, he was working as a Sign Language interpreter at the Israeli Children Museum in Holon. In 2010 he completed a four-year program of performance studies at the School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem. In 2011 he received his diploma in Israeli Sign Language interpretation at Bar-Ilan University. Since moving to Berlin on that year, he collaborated with matanicola, Theater Thikwa, ID festival, Michaela Casper and Possible World ensemble, among others. In 2014, together with Matan Zamir, he founded The progressive wave, a project which aims to translate complex cultural and spiritual ideas into an innovative audio-visual performative language. On that year, they have created The progressive wave’s debut interdisciplinary dance performance bodieSLANGuage in collaboration with matanicola and with deaf and hearing international performers, co-produced by Theatre Freiburg and Ballhaus Ost, Berlin and sponsored by the Capital Cultural Fund of Berlin (HKF). In 2015, Gal was invited to take part in Watch&Talk discussions panel at Wildwuchs Festival in Basel, Switzerland, which dealt with otherness and mixed-abilities in the world of theatre. Later on that year, he was invited for Tanzlabor-21 Residency Program in Mousonturm, Frankfurt, where he started working on his first solo piece Lights & Vessels, the first chapter in The progressive wave’s performance trilogy Science of Signs.
Matan Zamir is an Israeli Berlin-based choreographer and performer. He was a member of the Batsheva Dance Company under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin and has worked with choreographer Yasmeen Godder as a creating performer, artistic collaborator and rehearsal director. Since moving to Berlin in 2002 he has worked with Sasha Waltz, Benoit Lachambre, Michaela Casper, Kiriakos Hadjiioannou and Peaches, among others. In 2005, he founded matanicola with Italian choreographer and performer Nicola Mascia. Their body of work includes 7 evening-length pieces, site-specific creations, festival curation, installations and improvisation projects. In 2014, together with Gal Naor, he founded The progressive wave, a project which aims to translate complex cultural and spiritual ideas into an innovative audio-visual performative language. In 2016, Matan was invited to create a piece for D.Lab dance company in Shanghai, China and in 2017 to collaborate on a video installation with artist Hanayo Nakajima at MOT museum for contemporary art in Tokyo, Japan. Matan Zamir is regularly teaching contemporary dance classes and leads movement research workshops internationally.