Award-winning Israeli choreographers Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor will bring their talents to Rutgers University in the US, for a residency this upcoming spring semester.

Niv Sheinfeld (right) and Oren Laor (The Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist Program).

Sheinfeld, 41, and Laor, 40, will be teaching Mason Gross School of the Arts dance students contemporary technique and advanced improvisation. The Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artists Program, an initiative of the Israel Institute that brings Israeli artists – among them filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, writers and visual artists – for residencies at top universities and other cultural organizations in North America, is supporting their visit.

The goal of the overseas residency is to foster interaction between the artists and the communities in which they are based and to expose a broader audience to contemporary Israeli culture.

“With Niv and Oren as guest artists-in-residence, our students and faculty in the Dance Department have the opportunity to work with and learn from award-winning, international artists whose styles and perspectives are informed by their shared Israeli culture and by their individual training in dance and theater, respectively,” said Julia Ritter, chair and artistic director of the Rutgers Department of Dance, which has hosted other Israeli dance artists and established a program overseas in 2010 called DanceJerusalem. “They bring to our dance community a strongly defined example of artistic and personal collaboration that is inspiring and refreshing.”

Sheinfeld and Laor are two of 10 visiting artists who will be in residencies in the US as part of the Schusterman program.

Sheinfeld and Laor have been presented in numerous festivals and venues, such as “Montpellier Danse” (France), “Tanz Im August” and “Mousonturm” (Germany), “Julidans” and “Noorderzon” (Netherlands), “Cena Contemporanea” (Brazil), “Gabriela Mistral Center” (Chille).

“What makes The Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist Program unique and so effective is that it allows members of the host community and the visiting artists to connect in a variety of settings – from formal to informal, Jewish to non-Jewish – over a significant period of time, rather than the more traditional one-off experience,” says Marge Goldwater, the program’s director. “As we look back on the first five years, we see that the success of the residencies has prompted host institutions to find ways to bring Israeli cultural leaders to their communities after the Schusterman artist has left.”