“Klezmer Aerobics is about to become a craze. If we have anything to say about it, it is going to be a craze.”
– New York Times columnist and host of the Unorthodox Podcast, Mark Oppenheimer
Dancers from age 3 to age 89 shvitzed together at the Limmud NY 2016 conference at the Hilton Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut. In the crowd were teenagers, young adults, 40-somethings, 50-somethings, 60-somethings, 70-somethings, and two octogenarians who definitely know how to get down! Gerty, age 89, who is seated and waving her hands in this video clip, was up and dancing at both the beginning and end of the show! And she served as the unofficial stage crew when she helped with a dangerous shoelace situation with a certain pair of Reebok pump sneakers. Wonderful music by Midnight Noshers Debra and Craig made this an extra special performance.
Susan Salwen, one of the participants and a longtime volunteer leader in Limmud said:
“I’ve been to twelve Limmud conferences and this was the most fun I have ever had at a Limmud conference!”
David Wolkin, former Executive Director of Limmud NY, said on Instagram:
“80s Klezmer Aerobics is the best thing I’ve ever seen in a Jewish space, ever.”
Thanks for the love, Limmudniks!
Are you tired of watching throngs of commuters stumble down the sidewalk as they stare down into their fancy-pants smartphones? Do you need something to give a zest to your daily trek to the dower of dreck ? 80s Klezmer Aerobics has a tape for you! Here’s a little preview:
Research for this show has required substantial Delorean-style time-travel. I’ve been digesting videos – 80s Aerobics competitions, Richard Simmons workout tapes, as well as various forms of Jewish and klezmer dance from old Yiddish films and modern day Chassidic weddings. In the course of my choreographic journey I had the incredible opportunity to take master classes with Steven Lee Weintraub. If you have not heard of him, let me say this: Weintraub is a superb dancer and Read more
Get ready to Shvitz!
The spot: The 2016 New York Limmud Conference at the The Hilton Hotel.
The time: High Noon!
Click here for more.
Debra Caplan of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts of Baruch College will serve as guest musical director for 80s Klezmer Aerobics upcoming performance at New York’s 2016 Limmud Conference.
Debra Caplan is an Assistant Professor of Theatre specializing in world theater, Yiddish theater and drama, theatrical travel and Jewish performance culture. Her work has appeared in Comparative Drama and New England Theatre Journal, and she frequently presents at national and international theater conferences. Prior to joining the Baruch faculty, Professor Caplan taught theater history at Emerson College and was Executive Director of the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard, in collaboration with Martin Puchner. She is co-chair of the Digital Yiddish Theater Project, an interdisciplinary international initiative to develop a born-digital web resource on the history of the Yiddish stage, and is the current Season Dramaturg for Target Margin Theater in New York (2012-2014). Professor Caplan is currently working on a book tentatively entitled Yiddish Empire: Jews, Theater, and the Aesthetics of Itinerancy. She earned her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University.
80s Klezmer Aerobics premiered in 2015 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at the Kehillah Synagogue. The creator of 80s Klezmer Aerobics, Rabbi Daniel Brenner, was serving as the scholar- in- residence for the weekend and he led the Hebrew School students, teen volunteers, teachers and parents in a Sunday morning workout. Documentary filmmakers Darryl and Mary Ann Freedman were there to capture the fun.