Project History


In 2009, DNAWORKS spent nine weeks working in Israel.

Beta Dance Troupe, Haifa

Adam McKinney and Daniel Banks created a new, devised dance work with Beta Dance Troupe (BDT), an Ethiopian Israeli dance company that performs a combination of traditional and contemporary dance in Israel and abroad. Founded in 1994, Beta Dance Troupe is one of the only companies of its kind. They rehearsed together at the Neve Yosef Community Center in Haifa, which provides social and cultural services to the residents of east Haifa and assists in providing welfare services to the community of Neve Yosef. BDT debuted the world premiere of What Are We Saying? at Neve Yosef. Devised in collaboration with Beta dancers Daniel Barhana, Mazal Dimoza, Solomon Tafte, and Sandake Meharat, the work emerges from the dancers’ personal statements on the themes of home, passage, and diaspora, and is expressed in the unique language and movements of the Ethiopian communities. DNAWORKS was thrilled to work with celebrated Israeli costume designer Maor Zabar.

The piece has since toured around Israel and to the US. To learn more about Beta Dance Troupe, please visit:

Move2Heal, Tel Aviv

In collaboration with social worker and counselor for the Israeli Gay Youth Organization (IGY), Avi Blecherman of Tel Aviv, DNAWORKS facilitated a moving project using dance for community healing and creative self-expression with two young men maimed in the attack on Bar Noar. Bar Noar is the safe space for GLBTQ youth in Tel Aviv, Israel, that was attacked by a masked gunman, in which two people were killed and at least 15 injured. The 15 and 19-year old young men with whom we worked for six weeks begun to study dance – ballroom, modern, ballet, and Hip Hop – and, since the attack, are confined to wheelchairs, paralyzed from the chest down. At the time, they were rehabilitating at Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv. Adam and Daniel led a devised dance-theatre practicum to encourage these courageous, talented young men to pursue and explore their love of dance in their current physical state, to use the arts as a means to process and heal from the violence of this attack, and to share this process with the community around them. Click here to view video from the workshops.

Watch Move2Heal on YouTube

Peace Child Israel, Nazareth

As part of a grant from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Daniel and Adam facilitated a day-long Hip Hop Theatre workshop in Nazareth for Peace Child Israel with high school students from a Jewish and an Arab Israeli high school. Assisted by Brandeis alumnus and PCI counselor Walaa Sbait, the youth created short performance pieces to share with each other and their teachers.

Also through the US Embassy, they led workshops at the American Corners in Acco and Old Jaffo, and for the Yoram Levinstein Acting School.

Israeli Women Creating Peace - Palestine

DNAWORKS presented their "B-LIVE Guide for Live Performance and Public Speaking" during a performance workshop they led for Palestinian and Israeli Women Creating Peace: A Joint Venture of Shorouq and NISPED poets in Palestine. The presentation of the collection of poems by Yvette Nahmia-Messinas, They All Sound Like Love Songs, Women Healing Israeli-Palestinian Relations, was performed at the Yamei Shira Bamidbar festival in Midreshet S'de Boker, Israel under the section "With An Iron Pen: Poems of Protest and Poems of Peace" in Hebrew, English and Arabic by Israeli and Palestinian participants.

NYU in Tel Aviv

Daniel and Adam visited NYU in Tel Aviv. There, they gave a movement workshop and spoke about their recent work in Israel with 8 students and staff from the program as well as invited community members.

Beit Berl College

DNAWORKS led a self-expression and collaboration workshop through movement and voice in Professor and Poet Aida Nasrallah’s “Thinking Creatively” course at Beit Berl College. "Beit Berl College is an important historical teaching college attended by Muslims and Jews, “where education is considered a means for effecting social change and advancing social justice” (Beit Berl College). Thirty Arab women, Muslim and Christian, ages 20 – 70, participated in the workshop, which took place in the outdoor common area between the dining room and the library. Nasrallah has invited DNAWORKS to return to Beit Berl University to collaborate on further projects.

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