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 Movement and Stage Art for Women of Mature Age

איך הכל התחי

How it all Began

Without planning, I fell in love with the mature body, its aesthetics and honesty, and the uniqueness of the body-movement encounter engraved by the years. I find that sensation is sketched in the body and movement, bringing the personality of that dancing woman. 


I work to create an artistic space for women of mature age, exploring the experience of adolescence and ageing through body and movement. The adult body is the inspiration and raw material for creation. I meet mature women every week who say yes to the body and to the dance.

'Gila Workshop' – Movement and Stage Art for Women of Mature Age, was created following the premiere of Gila, the first work I created with mature women in 2008.  The performers were women between the ages of 70-85, some of them actresses who have appeared on stage in Israel and abroad, while others had no stage experience, but courageous and curious to participate in this journey.  

The work successfully performed throughout Israel and evoked excitement and emotion from the audiences. In the post-performance talks I received many requests from women whose bodies carried within them the desire to dance. The women mentioned that even when they dared to say out loud that they "want to dance", they did not find a suitable framework because the world of dance "belongs to the young". This motivated me to initiate the 'Gila Workshops' for women of mature age in 2009. 

The age of the women participating in the workshop ranges from 50 to 88, and what unites all of them is the curiosity for a deep process of body research and creative techniques.


The following text was written by participants in the Gila Workshop of 2011, during their second year of practice, most of them dance to this day:

שפת גלה

Key Principles of Gila Methodology

Working with What You Have – Listening to the body and to the physical limitations brought upon by age, and leveraging those limitations in order to develop a new movement and performed language.


Body Research – Individual work of each participant at her own pace. The work takes place through exploratory improvisation following suggestions given in class by the teacher to develop and enrich the movement language of each participant. The body becomes a 'laboratory' – its own research site.


Performative Presence – Achieving performative presence in space by working on a multi-layered 'movement quality' that includes:

Attention – body as matter

Direction – body in relation to space

Intention – the inner speech, mood



'Movement Anchors' – a term from Gila movement language that refers to the body as substance through the use of imagination, imagery, sensation and the various senses. 


Who am I? – The participants’ work is based on their own biography, striving to bring their stories and ideas, their inner personal world, to the stage.


Body Research combined with Creative Process – the interconnectedness of all the elements learned in class. This is an individual process that enables to deepen in the material, using a language that organizes them into an idea.  A retrieval of the learned knowledge and interconnectedness of the different element enables to move within the subconscious and conscious, ask questions, to become precise, choose, create contexts and connect them into a work. This process enables the refinement of movement, deepening of knowledge and development of creative thinking.  

Combining the artistic language with principles of brain plasticity – a sensory, motoric and cognitive movement work


Top Down - Concentration activates cells in the frontal cortex of the brain. In our use of imagery we rely on this process, called 'Top Down', which can activate cells or systems which we focus on and create new neural pathways. For example: when the attention is placed on a 'movement anchor' (usually built from an image and/or sensation), sensory-motoric information is passed from the brain to a specific area in the body – and this is how control of movement is formed and crystallized into a specific movement quality. When the information is more concrete and defined, the quality of movement is clearer. When they body is more trained, it can work with a number of 'movement anchors' simultaneously because they have already been 'restored' in the body-brain. This work enables the creation of a variety of movement qualities that become a type of 'movement/note dictionary' of the movement language.  


Motivation – The reward system in our brain boosts our learning abilities for anything we are interested in, anything we developed a motivation for. In the artistic aspect, motivation supports the challenges associated with dealing with a 'new language' that includes a dialogue with the body, mind and creative processes, especially when acquired at an older age.


Adopting the principles of cortical memory, based on encoding, storage and retrieval, in our artistic work – The classes are arranged so that the first part is dedicated to encoding and storing new artistic material, while the second part is focused on the retrieval of artistic knowledge and its implementation and organization for a solo work on stage. 

Objectives of the Workshop

  • Developing self-awareness and improving mobility while listening to the body, space and senses

  • Exposure to an artistic process while experiencing the wonderful world of stage art

  • Development of imagination and thought

  • Exposure to the contemporary dance scene

Information about the Course

The course is suitable for women aged 50 and above, who wish to engage in body research, creative processes and open up to this artistic world (no previous experience required).

The course focuses on movement and stage art for mature women. It places emphasis on discovering the artist within us, and utilizes the creative potential hidden within each and every woman. 


Workshop structure

Each workshop session consists of two classes:

First Class – Movement and improvisation. 

Body research through which the participants experience personal movement work, while developing listening skills and awareness of the body, senses, space and the surroundings. This work is combined with music.

Second Class – From the concept to the stage. 

The women participate in the choreographic work experience. Each participant creates a personal solo composed of biographical materials. In this section emphasis is placed on the creative process, the composition work and the adaptation of the idea to the stage.


At the end of the course, we hold a Summery Event of the work process in front of an audience of family and friends, which includes a solo performance of each participant.


Women Writing

Women in their second year, 2011 (most of them are still dancing to this day)​

"The writer Virginia Woolf coined the phrase "a woman who creates needs a table and a room of her own". This sentence was a powerful feminist manifesto. The studio became our own room, the intensity, the creativity, the mature femininity – through your professional mediation – turned the studio into a place where we could create a personal language through improvisations, move and form movement sequences independently, enjoy the significance of the creative process over the finished product and the freedom of simplicity... Every Wednesday the studio became our break from the daily routine. All of the external hassles were pushed aside, the phones were silent for three hours. And during those hours we created "that which could not be spoken" (Pina Bausch) and the chronology in our room lost its importance. The burden of the years does not cloud the journey of the body and soul. We did not imagine that in the time of our ageing, we could find such rejuvenation."

Mali Moadim, 2023 (end of 1st year, after concluding the work process)
"If I had to choose an image for this year of learning to dance, I would describe it as sandpaper… a delicate sandpaper that removed the primary layers of my body perception, thought about what is movement, how to talk with the body and how to listen to the body. It is the beginning of a deep and fascinating process, one which constantly consumes the consciousness and requires a persistent search. At first I felt less. Knowing less, understanding less, less stable… less.  Everyone, even though I knew they were new like me, seemed to get it, and seemed complete with themselves. And like a successful product of a competitive society, I didn't stop comparing. The change in perception began when you presented the theme for the annual work. In a process that took months, we filled a personal notebook with written ideas, movement anchors, thoughts, and movement drawings. How do we express the self through movement? How does an abstract idea become a physical expression? I found myself moving along the way, searching between on theme and the other… or was it between one identity and the other? Who am I, I am writing and erasing words, and later without words, only through the body, creating a movement sequence. Imagining oil in the body, strings pulled from the organs, bubbling water, foot traces in the sand. Slowly I understand that until the solo dance at the final event, and even during it, there still remain unraveled strings of not knowing, and I am learning to make peace with this. This un-closed is also part of the pleasure and interest. And mostly, this process is entirely individual, personal, intimate, and takes each one of us to her personal creation. You led this process, like a professional mentoring choreographer, thoroughly and lightly, in-depth without it being heavy. And then you sent each one of us to herself, to explore her interpretation to what she has experienced. A creative and not judgmental space like this enables exploration, pondering, development and growth. And this is only the first year. Cheers to the journey!"    

Michal Marom, 2022 (second year)
"In many ways, I feel like a chick that just hatched from the egg and needs to acknowledge that it is a chick and not a hedgehog or a rabbit. Although I am familiar with many of the disciplines we engage in from other fields of interest, like plastic arts and music, my revelation of myself as a person who loves and enjoys dance is still exhilarating for me. This is a never-ending journey towards self-acceptance and I am only in its beginning. A journey in which I learn to apply everything that is so known and clear to me from other worlds. The learning process I am going through here is accepting my body, the instrument that is at my disposal, and my attempt to express myself through it in the most authentic and precise way, and my attempt to reduce the gaps between what I want to express and the physical ability of my body to do so, and above all, to remind myself: I am d a n c i n g".      

Michal Marom, 2022 (second year)
"In many ways, I feel like a chick that just hatched from the egg and needs to acknowledge that it is a chick and not a hedgehog or a rabbit. Although I am familiar with many of the disciplines we engage in from other fields of interest, like plastic arts and music, my revelation of myself as a person who loves and enjoys dance is still exhilarating for me. This is a never-ending journey towards self-acceptance and I am only in its beginning. A journey in which I learn to apply everything that is so known and clear to me from other worlds. The learning process I am going through here is accepting my body, the instrument that is at my disposal, and my attempt to express myself through it in the most authentic and precise way, and my attempt to reduce the gaps between what I want to express and the physical ability of my body to do so, and above all, to remind myself: I am d a n c i n g".      

Dorota Bielas, 2023 (during an injury)

"I bless you a few times every day. The way you led our meetings, the deep understanding of movement and thinking that had evolved over years – all these things enable me today, in the limitations following my injury, to get through the day safely without stumbling or unnecessary effort. 'Intentionality' is the key, in my opinion. A controlled movement aimed for a purpose, and a conscious maintenance of the center gravity enable me to perform daily (but simple) movements without assistance. Thanks to the knowledge I absorbed in your classes, I can by relatively independent in my current condition." 


The Teaching Team at Gila School

In the school, there is a team of teachers designated for each learning group.

In addition, there are lectures relating theory and practice and throughout the year, the students are exposed to various working methods through experiences with independent creators active in the field of contemporary dance, including encounters with artists, workshops and talks on creative processes.

Galit Liss Picture by Liron Veizman.jpg
Idit Souslik_-photograph_ by Lior Segev.jpg
Noa Dr.jpg
Anat Gregorio.jpeg
Photo by Hila Shiloni.jpg

Glit Liss

Galit Liss is an independent choreographer and teacher, and the founder and artistic director of Gila School of Movement and Stage Art for Mature Women.

go to about page to read more

גלית ליס
נועה דר

Noa Dar

Teacher in Gila School

Performance Manager for Galit Liss - Noa Dar is a multidisciplinary artist, performer, dancer and teacher, and performance manager in the productions of Galit Liss. Her teaching is primarily based on improvisation, contact improvisation, inclusive movement, and creative processes. She is a graduate of the School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem, holds a BA in dance and MA in choreography from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. She is certified in Ilan Lev and Feldenkrais methods. She is a performer in the Lashevet Lakom ensemble, and since 2002 has been participating in various movement and performance projects in Israel and abroad. Her works have been presented in various festivals, such as Zirat Machol (Dance Arena), Jerusalem Culture Season – Under the Mountain Festival, Dock 11, V-Dance, Akko Festival, and more. Since 2014, she has been a member of the Israeli Contact Society, organizing and producing contact improvisation workshops and events.

Tamar Mayzlish

Teacher in Gila School

Independent choreographer, dancer, teacher and director of dance projects. She has graduated from the program for choreographers in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Kelim Choreography Center’s residency program, and Vertigo – Power of Balance’s program for instructors in integrated contact improvisation. She teaches in various frameworks, creates and accompanies creative processes with professional dancers and non-dancers. She promotes the integrating people with disabilities and diverse communities in dance and creative processes. She creates for the group Mutual Gaze – a joint creative project for people with visual impairment. She is the initiator of Gufany Project that combines dancers with diverse physical abilities, and has created for it the work Third Body. Shr directs Vertigo – Power of Balance, produces and artistically assists choreographer Sharon Fridman (Israel-Spain). Her works End of the Wall (Israel-India collaboration), Let Go, We Will Run, Want to be There, and From Generation to Generation have been presented in Israel and around the world.  


Anat Grigorio

Teacher in Gila School

Anat Grigorio is an independent stage artist, dancer, choreographer and contemporary dance teacher. Her work focuses on deep research of the human body through its behavior, spirit and consciousness – their limits, roles and influences on each other. She is a member of the Israeli Choreographers Association, holds a B.Ed in dance from Kibbutzim College, and completed physical theater studies with Thierry Moral and Nelly Amar. She received the PUF’s Theater Sky prize in the International Festival for Alternative Theater in Croatia, awarded to artists who bring a new spirit to stage art. She was a dancer in the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Ido Tadmor Company, and Tami – Nimrod Freed Company. She gives workshops and master classes in Israel and abroad, and curates long term workshops for creating dancers – Self-Performance. Her works have been presented in dance festivals such as Curtain Up, Israel Festival, Shades in Dance, International Exposure, Woman Festival and more, and have gained international acclaim in Spain, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, China, Venezuela, Uruguay and the US.



Dr. Idit Suslik - Theory Lectures as Enrichment for Practice 

Teacher in Gila School

Dr. Idit Suslik is a dance and performance lecturer, scholar and writer. She serves as chair of the Israeli Society for Dance Research and for more than a decade has been a member of several advisory committees in the dance and theater field. She lectures in the Kibbutzim College, and regularly teaches in non-academic dance training programs, while also giving lectures to the general public in series she curates. Her research focuses on the aesthetics of the body, and performance/choreographic analysis from an interdisciplinary and cultural perspective, and is regularly presented in conferences in Israel and abroad. She writes in her online platform, The Contemporary Eye and the newspaper Israel Hayom, and her academic papers are published in various journals and sites, such as: Dance Now (Israel), Textura (Israel), The Israeli Center for Digital Art Archive, Performance Research, Aware and more. During the last years she has been engaged in initiating and taking part in projects that develop her writing into a creative-performative action: Intimadance Festival Booklets 2017, 2018 and 2021 (artistic directors: Dr. Erez Maayan-Shelav and Anat Katz); Tmun(a)t Matzav (Snapshot) – An Artistic-Intellectual Reflection for a Wall in Tmuna Theater (initiative: Dr. Erez Maayan-Shalev); Sharing Screen: Live Writing after Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor, performed in the exhibition Imagine a Museum (or: The Remembering Body), curator Ruti Direktor (Tel Aviv Museum of Art, January-February 2023). She is a former flamenco dancer and teacher. These days she is writing a book about the works of Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor. During the outbreak of Covid, she began giving online lectures within Gila School that became part of the annual program, focusing on international and Israeli dance history, art and society, contemporary choreography, and more. 

איך נרשמי

How to Register

Please fill in your details in the 'Contact Us' section,

and our school coordinator will get back to you.

 You can also join our mailing list to stay updated

regarding performances and workshops.

The course is annual and begins each year after the holidays.

A new group opens every year, and registration information

is sent out in July/August towards the opening of the new course.

 It is not possible to join in the middle of the year.

School Address:


Mobile – School Coordinator: 050-8933317

You can leave a WhatsApp message, and the school coordinator will get back to you

In a studio 2007 photo - Eli Passi.jpg

Contact  Gila School


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