About Suzanne Dellal Centre
ABOUT SUZANNE DELLAL CENTRE
The Home for Dance in Israel
The Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre is Israel’s premier presenter of Israeli and international dance. Established in 1989, the mission of the Suzanne Dellal Centre is to cultivate, support and promote the art of contemporary dance in Israel. The Centre pursues this mission by offering diverse performances, events, festivals, programs, and workshops from the worlds of contemporary dance and performing arts.
The Suzanne Dellal Centre initiates and hosts world-class dance productions and engaging educational activities and facilitates the highest-quality presentation of dance. The Centre has launched dozens of innovative programs to nurture and support new work and emerging artists, providing platforms to expose young artists and bring dance to new audiences.
The Suzanne Dellal Centre’s sprawling multi-level campus consists of four performance halls, rehearsal studios, restaurant and cafe, and wide plazas that host outdoor performances and events. The Centre is home to the Batsheva Dance Company and Inbal Dance Theatre. From 2016-2018, the Centre is undergoing a historic renovation in order to provide more spaces for dance.
In 2010 the Suzanne Dellal Centre was awarded the Israel Prize, the country’s most prestigious prize and highest honor. Since its founding, the Centre has been responsible for putting Israeli dance on the map, internationally, and positioning dance as a central part of Israeli culture, locally. The Centre has served as a springboard for many Israeli choreographers and festivals. With over 600 performances each year, the Centre has initiated more than 100 creative frameworks and presented over 1,300 premieres. It is the most visited tourist site in Tel Aviv, with over half a million visitors a year.
Today, as the dance ecosystem of Israel continues to grow and flourish, the Suzanne Dellal Centre remains an anchor of the scene, presenting and producing hundreds of performances each year and hosting festivals and programs which offer opportunities for dance artists in all stages of development.
The Centre was established in 1989 by the Dellal Family of London, England, in honor of their daughter Suzanne, as well as the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo, the Tel Aviv Foundation, and the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Education.
The Centre is located in the center of historic Neve Tzedek, the first neighborhood of Tel Aviv, located south of the Yemenite Quarter, just minutes from the Mediterranean Sea. Three late nineteenth century school buildings, designated for preservation, were reconstructed and restored to create the performing arts center which was intended to give a home to contemporary dance in Israel and rejuvenate the neighborhood.
In 1986, a plan was formed to revitalize the Neve Tzedek neighborhood and rehabilitate the compound to build the Suzanne Dellal Centre, a dance center the likes of which had not been seen in Israel. Most of the buildings were empty and in derelict condition and the Lewinsky Seminar building had collapsed. The Girls’ School was was empty except for a theater group run by Oded Kotler and Miki Yerushalmi. In between these the buildings ran Yechieli Street. In the “backyard” was a small building where the Inbal Dance Company, founded by Sara Levi-Tanai, held rehearsals.
The Suzanne Dellal Centre has embarked on a historic renovation of one of the original nineteenth century buildings upon which it was built. The construction includes the rehabilitation and expansion of two existing dance studios and offices, a refurbished Yerushalmi Theater for emerging and alternative artists, and the construction of a new outdoor stage with seating to hold 300 guests. The centerpiece of the renovation is the addition of an entirely new third floor and the Zehava & Jack Dellal studio, a state-of-the-art flexible studio/performance space, named after the late founders of the Centre.
Neve Tzedek (Dwellings of Justice) was established in 1887, 22 years before Tel Aviv was founded, by a small group of Jewish families seeking to live outside of the overcrowded port city of Jaffa. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Neve Tzedek had become home to many artists and writers, including Nobel Prize-winning author S.Y. Agnon. In 1914, the Eden Theater, the first cinema in pre-state Israel, was up and running in Neve Tzedek. While Tel Aviv continued to expand to the north and east in the early days of the state, Neve Tzedek was left to deteriorate, with old houses and streets literally crumbling away.
In the 1980s, the neighborhood began to recapture its former glory through the restoration of buildings and the establishment of the Suzanne Dellal Centre. It has since become a stylish neighborhood with many restaurants, trendy cafés and bars, galleries, designer shops, and boutique hotels. Made up of about a dozen tiny streets crammed with one- and two-story homes in various stages of renovation, Neve Tzedek’s rich history is constantly being discovered and celebrated by modern architects and designers. The gorgeous architecture, packed within quiet narrow lanes, along with the relaxed manner of the neighborhood’s residents, make the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv a gem of a place to spend an afternoon.
Historical sites include: The Home of the Writers. which became the Nahum Gutman Museum, a building that housed important thinkers and writers such as Yosef Haim Brenner, Devorah Baron, and Yossef Aharonovitch; Shimon Rokah’s home; the Suzanne Dellal Centre; and the Sheloush home.