Ronen Koresh
December 29, 2014

Music for modern and contemporary dance

“I don’t like to work by myself,” says Koresh (top right), in rehearsal.

When he creates work on the Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance Company, director Ronen Koresh doesn’t prepare much ahead of time. Instead, he comes to rehearsal with an idea or image in mind and lets the movement develop organically among his dancers. “I don’t like to work by myself,” he says. “I like to have people around so I can feel if they’re connecting to it or not.” This is in contrast to his younger self, who he says did a ton of preparation and knew every step before the beginning.

Similarly, when he teaches class—at University of the Arts or for advanced adult dancers at the Koresh School of Dance—he’s learned it’s best not to prepare specific warm-up exercises. “I find when you choreograph the warm-up, by the time a person picks it up, they don’t know why they’re doing it,” he says. During the first 30 minutes of class, he keeps talk to a minimum, moving through a nonstop series of flat-backs, contractions, tendus, développés and battements as dancers follow along.

The Israeli-born choreographer favors eclectic Eastern and world music for the main class combination, but for warm-up, he prefers the builds and drops of house beats. “House music has a melodic background, which I enjoy,” he says. “I need something to drive the class, to make you want to move.” DT

Artist: Armand Amar

Album: Retrospective

“He’s an Israeli-born French musician. He can do it all. He can go anywhere and everywhere. He encompasses the world of Eastern culture.”



Artist: Fariborz Lachini

Album: Golden Autumn 1

“He’s from Iran and composes classical music. His sound is so romantic. This is something I use in class for variations.”




Artist: John Zorn

Album: The Unknown Masada

“He has this mystical Jewish sound, and a sense of humor in his music. It’s just so ahead of its time in its composition.”




Artist: James Blackshaw

Song: “Part 4”

“It’s great for variation in class. He creates such an incredible, melodramatic atmosphere. There is a dark joy in his music. It’s very complex.”



Artist: Von Don

Song: “Funkadelic”

“It’s uplifting, energizing and beautiful. It has clear melodies, and it’s simple enough to follow during warm-up.”






Photo by Krista Bonura, courtesy of Koresh Dance Company

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