The progressive wave GbR is a collaborative multidisciplinary project founded in Berlin by Israeli performance artists and choreographers Gal Naor and Matan Zamir.
Their multidisciplinary approach is inclusive and interfaces dance and visual art with sociopolitical content and consciousness studies. They produce a variety of independent and commissioned works in dance and theater and offer artistic/dramaturgical accompaniment and inclusive workshops. They interact with the visual art world using the performance medium, creating live installations and multichannel audiovisual works.
The progressive wave’s first creation, bodieSLANGuage, created in 2014 in collaboration with the Berlin-based duo-choreographers matanicola, consists of eight international Deaf and hearing performers, founded by the Capital Culture Fund of Berlin (Hauptstadtkulturfonds) and co-produced-by-Theater Freiburg and Ballhaus Ost, Berlin. In 2016, with the support of ID Festival Berlin, they embarked on their innovative performance trilogy Science of Signs – a theatric triptych exploring the relations between science, performance, and spirituality. Their dance lecture performance, Science of Signs I: Lights & Vessels, created in 2016, was presented in Radialsystem V (2016, 2017) and Trauma Bar und Kino (2018) in Berlin and Tanz Faktur, Cologne (2019) in the frame of Sommerblut Festival.
Science of Signs II: Oráculo (supported by ID Festival, Berlin) is a collaboration with Theater Thikwa, staged in 2018 at Ballhaus Ost, Berlin, and was shown in Schwankhalle Bremen, in the frame of the eigenARTig festival. Oráculo Installation was presented in Berlin at Circle1 Gallery (2017) and at Trauma Bar und Kino, Berlin (2018).
The progressive wave’s recent artistic collaborations: In 2018, they collaborated with theater director Michaela Casper and Possible World Deaf Ensemble to choreograph the queer Sign Language adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, presented at Ballhaus Ost Theater in Berlin and Grillo-Theater in Essen, Germany. In 2019, with fashion label UY Studio, sound composer and DJ Dasha Rush, and Butoh artist Valentin Tzin, they created the contemporary site-specific dance ritual, Zone, which consisted of twenty performers, presented at Halle am Berghain in Berlin. In January 2020, they were invited by the Dagada dance company in Freiburg to choreograph LoveArchive, a performative installation presented at the Contemporary Art Gallery in E-Werk, Freiburg. In 2021, emerging Italian Deaf choreographer Rita Mazza invited Naor and Zamir to accompany her new creation, SPACE 1880, coproduced by Sophiensaele, Berlin, as artistic mentors. In 2022, they were invited by Greek theater director Zoe Xanthopoulou to choreograph her creation Bacchae Underworld with Deaf and hearing performers from Greece and Germany; the work premiered in May at Theatre aan Het Spui in Den Haag, Holland.
The progressive wave are leading workshops and classes that revolve around the study of consciousness in relation to the moving body, internationally.
Gal Ovadia Naor is a Berlin-based choreographer, theater maker, official Israeli Sign Language interpreter, mind-body researcher, and founder of The progressive wave GbR.
As a multidisciplinary artist and Sign Language interpreter, his works function as mediators between realms. He explores the relations between language, culture, and Identity with a high aesthetic focus.
Gal Naor was born in Israel in 1986. He graduated from the theater department of Thelma-Yellin High School of the Arts in 2004. In 2006, Gal joined the first year at the Jerusalem School of Visual Theater. In 2008, he received a scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for his video-performance series Inserts. From 2008 to 2011, he worked as a Sign Language interpreter at the Israeli Museum in Holon, Israel.
In 2010, Gal graduated from a four-year performance studies program at the Jerusalem School of Visual Theater. Later that year, his graduation piece, INTERFERENCE, was invited by the well-known Hazira theater in Jerusalem.
Gal received his two-year diploma in Israeli-Sign-Language-Interpretation at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, in the summer of 2011, and shortly after, he moved to Berlin. In 2014, Gal founded The progressive wave performance initiative with choreographer Matan Zamir; their debut creation, bodieSLANGuage, with international Deaf and hearing performers, was supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Berlin and coproduced by Theater Freiburg.
Gal’s selected independent artistic activities in recent years:
In 2017, Theater Thikwa invited Gal to join the artistic creation of Schweigen Impossible as a Sign Language choreographer and performer (with further shows between 2018 and 2020). In 2020, choreographer Angela Alves invited Gal to join the online theater production of NO-LIMIT, coproduced by Sophiensaele, Berlin, as a simultaneous Sign Language interpreter and performer. From March to September 2021, Gal received a DIS-TANZ-SOLO research fund for The progressive wave’s upcoming stage work Science of Signs III. In 2022, Gal was selected to be one of eight artists in the Creative Fellowship Program of LABA Berlin, a Laboratory for Jewish Culture (group exhibition at CLB Gallery, Berlin, between 1st to 22nd October), where he presented his poetic Sign Language translative research for King Solomon’s poetry in a 3-channel video installation named Native Defragmentation, produced by The progressive wave GbR.
In recent years, Gal has been offering accessibility consultation and simultaneous Sign Language interpretation for Berlin’s international free art scene to promote the integration of Deaf artists.
Matan Zamir is an Israeli, Berlin-based artist, choreographer, performer, theater maker, and founder of matanicola and The progressive wave GbR.
Matan was born in 1977 in Israel and grew up in Kibbutz Rosh-Hanikra. He started dancing in 1985, studying initially at the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance School and later at the Bat-Dor Dance School in Tel Aviv.
In 1996, he graduated from Manor-Kabri High School of Arts in the dance and music departments. Later that year, he joined the Batsheva Dance Company under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin. In 1997, he was a scholarship recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation as an “outstanding dancer” in Israel.
Since moving to Berlin in 2002, he has worked with Sasha Waltz & Guests in a few productions as a creative performer, as well as with Benoit Lachambre, Michaela Casper, Kiriakos Hadjiioannou, Julian Rosefeldt, Meg Stuart, and Peaches, among others. 2005, he founded the collaborative performance duo matanicola with Italian choreographer and performer Nicola Mascia. Their work includes eight evening-length pieces, site-specific creations, festival curation, installations, and improvisation projects. Their work was extensively presented at international festivals. 2014, together with Gal Naor, he founded The progressive wave GbR.
Matan’s selected independent artistic activities in recent years:
In 2016, Matan was invited to create Transfiguration, an evening-length piece for the D.Lab dance company in Shanghai, China. In 2017, Japanese visual artist Hanayo Nakajima invited him to co-create a video installation in collaboration with the MOT Museum for Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan, coproduced by The progressive wave. In 2018, he created the work Bleach – Aurora Hunters – an evening-length dance piece for Theater Thikwa. In 2019, the Netherlands company Random Collision invited Matan to research and choreograph Notes on Synchrony, an experimental stage work in which contemporary dancers and neuroscientists co-investigate the meaning of human connection. From June to December 2021, Matan received the DIS-TANZ-SOLO research fund for The progressive wave’s upcoming stage work: Science of Signs III.
Matan Zamir regularly teaches contemporary movement research classes and leads improvisation workshops internationally. He mentors young choreographers in their first creations and offers dramaturgical support.
Besides his work as a performer and choreographer, Matan is a trained professional physical therapist in various therapeutic bodyworks and holistic body-mind therapies.