as is arts as is arts

Open menu Close menu

May Zarhy

Dance works


Born in 1984, choreographer and performer May Zarhy is a graduate of the Rotterdam Dance Academy in The Netherlands and the prestigious choreographic program ex.e.r.ce in Montpellier France, directed by Mathilde Monnier and Xavier Le Roy in 2007. In 2005, she assisted William Forsythe in his creation 3 Atmospheric Studies. In 2009, she formed together with Fabrice Mazliah and Ioannis Mandafounis the collaborative trio mamaza in Germany and Switzerland, with whom she created and performed all around the world. Together with mamaza, May was associated artist at deSingel Antwerp in 2011-2012, and resident artist at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt in 2012-2014 (Doppelpass Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation). In 2012, she was selected to be a Modul-Dance European project artist. Since 2015 she has been sharing her time between Germany and Israel, creating a wide range of works, from site-specific, participatory and stage works, under the wide definition of choreography.

She has been fascinated with the relationship between the media of dance and music, creating works such as: the VOICES (2017, with vocal artist Michal Oppenheim, Diver Festival, Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis), the site specific sound tour Kol Yom (2018, with musician Elad Bardes, Loving Art Festival), Next to Near (2017, with choreographer Hermann Heisig, Sophiensaele Berlin), YES (2015, with Michal Oppenheim, Diver festival, Tel Aviv Museum of Art) and more.

Since 2017, May has been curating her video screenings series Cinemay – Choreographic Cinema, which presents full documentation of performance made by artists, whom the local Israeli audiences are less familiar with for various reasons. Each screening includes a live skype conversation with the invited artists and it is hosted at the Center of Contemporary Art Tel Aviv.

Next to her own work, May works as a dramarturg for other artists, such as: Shira Eviatar, Adi Boutrous, Fabrice Mazliah and others.

She teaches at The School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem, K3 Hamburg, Kelim Center and more.

Questioning what the act of listening could be and look like is the core motivation for her artistic practice, and is manifested in her way of creating, collaborating, curating and teaching. Her work is located in between places: between Germany and Israel, between choreography and other artistic disciplines. She creates zones in which the spectator is asked to negotiate, question and suspend his*her interpretation of what they witness.


“My body knows unheard-of songs…” (Hélène Cixous)

‘untitled’ is a continuation of Zarhy’s exploration into the interweaving of body and sound. Through a (loose) tribute to Dan Flavin’s body of work, the work places itself in-between choreography and visual arts. Together with musician Elad Bardes Zarhy creates a resonating space of image and sound, where the image immerses and diverts from, and at times clashes with, the soundscape.
‘untitled’ cuts through language and dives into the flesh, operating in the field of the senses, aiming to reverberate in that which we all have: a body. Based on a series of recordings of their physical bodily activities that are sampled and recomposed in real-time, the artists compose a disorienting, fantastic and at times uncanny environment.

Through an aesthetic proposition, that is as much a performance, as a live sculpture or a transforming 3D painting, a physical experience takes place, triggering the spectator’s senses and demanding his*her full presence and sensitivity to be an imminent part of this rite.


  • By | May Zarhy
  • Music| Elad Bardes
  • Space and light objects| Boaz (Beja) Gilad
  • External eye | Sigal Bergman
  • Assistant: Rotem Greenberg
  • Production | HaZira Performance Art Arena
  • Thanks to Nitzan Cohen and Sergio Edelzstein.

Supported by: Mifal Hapais & Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv
With thanks to RE-SEARCH Professional training program.

The piece was premiered in Diver Festival 2019.

** Contains nudity
** Some sections take place in complete darkness.

Premier  Performances

24 – 25.9 – Diver Festival, CCA Tel Aviv

30.10 – The International Performance Conference, Jerusalem Theater

  • Photo: Roy Siegel
    Photo: Roy Siegel
  • Photo: Roy Siegel
    Photo: Roy Siegel
  • Photo: Roy Siegel
    Photo: Roy Siegel
  • Photo: Roy Siegel
    Photo: Roy Siegel
  • Photo: Roy Siegel
    Photo: Roy Siegel