The progressive wave is a collaborative performance project based in Berlin, founded in 2014 by Israeli performance artists and choreographers Gal Naor and Matan Zamir. They produce a variety of works and activities, from dance and theater productions to art installations and site-specific performance projects. Parallel to their independent and commissioned productions, they are regularly teaching workshops for both performers and non-performers. They offer an inclusive space that is welcoming mixabled people, with and without experience in performing arts. They aim to spread the knowledge of spiritual understanding through the experience of the dancing body. Their artistic goal is to bring together choreography, performance art, and visual art, along with political and spiritual content in a thought-provoking theatrical setting.
Their 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 philosophy. Their dance-lecture-performance; Science of Signs I: Lights & Vessels, created in 2016, was presented in Radialsystem V and Trauma Bar und Kino, Berlin, and in Tanz Faktur, Cologne, in the frame of Sommerblut Festival. Science of Signs II: Oráculo was staged in 2018 at Ballhaus Ost, Berlin, and was shown in Schwankhalle Bremen, in the frame of the eigenARTig festival. In 2019 together 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. The work consists of twenty performers and was presented at Halle am Berghain in Berlin.
In 2018, they were invited by theatre director Michaela Casper and Possible World Deaf Ensemble to choreograph their queer Sign Language version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, presented at Ballhaus Ost Theater in Berlin and Grillo-Theater in Essen, Germany. Later that year, they were invited by Trauma Bar und Kino to present Lights & Vessels as the opening event of their interdisciplinary art venue in Berlin, along with Oráculo Live Installation. In the fall of 2018, they were invited by choreographer Karolin Stächele to dramaturge her dance creation Myth, presented at E-Werk, Freiburg, Germany. In January 2020, they collaborated again with Stächele on a performative installation called LoveArchive; the work was performed thirteen times at the contemporary art gallery in E-Werk, Freiburg. The progressive wave are leading workshops and classes that revolve around the study of consciousness in relation to the moving body, internationally.
Gal Naor is an Israeli, Berlin-based, Sign Language interpreter, performer, choreographer, and founder of The progressive wave. In his work, he deals with the triangular relations between language, culture, and identity. All of his pieces are fully accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing audiences. Gal’s intensive engagement within the Deaf social circles in Israel and Germany is significantly contributing to his artistic researches. He was born in Israel in 1986. In 2004 he graduated from the theater department of Thelma-Yellin High School of Arts. In 2006, he joined the first year in the School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem. In 2008, he received a scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for his video-dance series ‘Inserts.’ From 2008 to 2011, he was working as a Sign Language interpreter at the Israeli Museum in Holon. In 2010 he accomplished his linguistic research ‘Hebrew and Israeli Sign Language – Bilingualism or ‘Interference.’ Later on that year, he graduated a four-year program of performance studies at the School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem and collaborated as a creating performer with the duo-choreographers matanicola in their dance creation ‘What on Earth’ which was presented in Akko Theater and Hangar-Hanamal in Jaffa. In July 2011, he received his diploma in Israeli Sign Language interpretation at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. Since 2012 his poems are published in Maayan Magazine for Poetry, Prose, Arts, and Ideas. In 2014, together with Matan Zamir, he founded ‘The progressive wave.’ In 2015, Gal was invited by Wildwuchs Festival to take part in the Watch&Talk discussions panel in Basel, Switzerland, which dealt with Otherness and Disability in the world of dance and performance. In 2016 he was invited by D-LAB dance company in Shanghai, China, to work as a dramaturge for the piece ‘Transfiguration’ by choreographer Matan Zamir. In 2017 he was invited by Theater Thikwa to join the artistic creation of ‘Schweigen Impossible’ as a choreographer and performer. In 2018 Gal was invited by choreographer Shiran Eliaserov as a dramaturge for her production ‘Beyond Control,’ presented at Parochial Kirche Berlin. Gal is leading inclusive and accessible workshops to diverse communities.
Matan Zamir is an Israeli, Berlin-based choreographer, performer, and founder of matanicola and The progressive wave. He 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 both dance and music departments. In 1996 he moved to Tel Aviv and joined the Batsheva Dance Ensemble under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin where he also worked with other choreographers such as Noa Dar, Lara Barsacq, Keren Levi, Niv Shenfeld, Saar Magal, Yossi Berg, Itzik Galili, Joaquin Sabate, Linda Gaudreau, Frederic Lascour and performed in works of Angelin Preljocaj, Jirí Kilian, Inbal Pinto, and Rami Be’er amongst others. 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 dance company in few productions as a performer as well with Benoit Lachambre, Michaela Casper, Kiriakos Hadjiioannou, Julian Rosefeldt, and Peaches, among others. In 2005, he founded the collaborative duo matanicola with Italian choreographer and performer Nicola Mascia. Their body of work includes eight evening-length pieces, site-specific creations, festivals curation, installations, and improvisation projects. Their work was extensively presented in international festivals. In 2014, together with Gal Naor, he founded The progressive wave. In 2016, Matan was invited to create an evening piece for D.Lab dance company in Shanghai, China, and in 2017 to collaborate on a video installation with Japanese visual artist Hanayo Nakajima at MOT museum for contemporary art in Tokyo, Japan. In 2019 Matan was invited by the Netherlands company Random Collision to choreograph a work in which contemporary dancers and neuroscientists co-investigate the meaning of human connection. Matan Zamir is regularly teaching contemporary movement research classes and leads various workshops internationally. He is mentoring young choreographers in their first works and offers dramaturgical support.