photo: Gadi Dagon
photo: Gadi Dagon

A Response to Dig Deep

In 2013, Zaides was invited to take part in the Aire De Jeu project at Les Subsistances, a research center for performing arts in Lyon. The project invited choreographers from across the world to create a work using live music by contemporary composers. For the project, Zaides chose Dig Deep, a composition for string quartet by American composer Julia Wolfe.

Wolfe is a founding member of renowned New York collective Bang On A Can. Her music is distinguished by intense physicality and relentless power. It pushes performers to extremes ands demand close attention from the audience. Her 1995 composition Dig Deep generates an intense sonic movement inwards. In A Response to Dig Deep, Zaides focuses on a state of ongoing oscillation, offering the audience a kinesthetic, non-narrative practice that examines the tension between restlessness and stability.

Credits & Collaborators

Music Score 'Dig Deep' by Julia Wolfe Performed by Quatour Leonis & Arkadi Zaides Special Thanks to Myriam Van Imschoot Light Thalie Lurault Comissioned by Les Subsistances, Lyon (FR)

Past Events

22 November 2014
Warehouse 2, Jaffa, Israel
5 December 2015
International Exposure Festival, Inbal Theater, Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv, Israel

Articles & Reviews

Arkadi Zaides in Moving New Work

by Zvi Goren, Habama Online Magazine, 24/11/14

This work, "A Response to Dig Deep", is a new and unique achievement, as a continuation of Zaides' individual process of movement as an artist-performer. He sets himself up as a tool of expression for something external – as he adopts it, identifies with it, opposes it – and eventually transforms from expressive tool to the substance he is expressing. 

Arkadi Zaides Digs Deeper Into Dance

by Stacey Menchel Kussell, The Forward Online Magazine, 9/10/13

“There is a certain feeling of ‘in-between’ that you inherit as an immigrant. My life as an artist has expanded this feeling,” said Arkadi Zaides in an interview with The Arty Semite. “Living all over the world, performing and choreographing, it is hard to say what constitutes my home. My home is everywhere.”

Zaides has always felt like an outsider, both artistically and personally. Born in Belarus, the choreographer moved to Israel with his family at age 11. Even after living for decades as an Israeli citizen, he has difficulty defining the concept of home.

Zaides examines his feeling of oscillation on a somatic level in his new piece “Response to Dig Deep” which has its North American premiere at New York Live Arts October 10.

Accompanied by French string quartet Quartour Leonis, Zaides responds to Julia Wolfe’s composition “Dig Deep” in a solo piece interpreting the poignant sound of violins, viola and cello.

“I chose the music because it was so physical. The strings bring out such intense emotion — they literally vibrate, crunch, and move. I mirrored the oscillation with my body and thought thematically about being suspended between two points,” Zaides said.

“Reponse to Dig Deep” was originally commissioned by the Aire de Jeu project at Les Subsistances, a center for choreographic innovation in Lyon, France. Wolfe, the famed co-founder of the musical organization Bang on a Can, contributed her compositions and collaborated with four international choreographers. Zaides first presented the work in France in January 2013.

The empathetic view in the theater

For all our Flemish and Dutch speaking friends, the Belgian magazine Etcetera has released an article by theater scholar Esther Tuypens discussing the use of empathy in performing arts. The article analyzes mechanisms of emotional identification in Arkadi Zaides’ creation Archive as well as in Milo Rau’s Empire. It is available online

25 February 2019

How can we rethink the documentary in art in terms of content, form and method? The School of Speculative Documentary is an interdisciplinary space for an ​encounter that seeks to question the documentary act. Creators take the floor to discuss uncertainty and guesswork, to confront the unfixable holes in their work and the messiness of reality.

Usages Géopolitiques Des Images

What influence do images have on migration policies? How do dictatorial regimes produce their imagery? Is there an ethical way to document war zones? USAGES GÉOPOLITIQUES DES IMAGES is a new publication that sets to examine these issues through the works of various contemporary artists. The book compiles the writing of twelve contributors, among them is Frédéric Pouillaude, whose essay examines  Zaides' practice over the past years.