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May Zarhy is a Berlin and Tel Aviv based choreographer.
She created her first piece for the National Choreography Biennial Shades in Dance 2001, Tel Aviv, at the age of 16, before moving to the Netherlands, where she graduated from the Rotterdam Dance Academy in 2006. During her studies, she also worked as William Forsythe’s assistant at the Forsythe Company (2005). In 2007, she completed Xavier Le Roy and Mathilde Monnier’s ex.e.r.ce post-graduate program, in Montpellier, France. 

Later, Zarhy co-founded with Fabrice Mazliah and Ioannis Mandafounis the collaborative trio Mamaza (2009-2014), with whom she created and performed around the world. The trio members were selected as associate artists at deSingel, Antwerp (2011-2012), and resident artists at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt (2012-2014).

Since 2014, Zarhy has been creating her own performance work as well as participatory works in the public sphere. Between 2017-2020, she was curating and presenting her screening series Cinemay at the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, hosting artists such as Eszter Salamon, Youness Atbane, Germaine Acogny and others. Between 2021-23 she has been directing the post-graduate choreography study program in Kelim Center Israel. In parallel to her own choreographic work, she works as a dramaturg and rehearsal director for fellow artists such as: Adi Boutrous, Hermann Heisig, Fabrice Mazliah and Shira Eviatar. Zarhy has been teaching at Kelim choreography program, the School of Visual Theater Jerusalem, K3 Hamburg, Pro-Mornings Suzanne Dellal Center, Jerusalem Academy for Music & Dance, and more. 
Zarhy is represented by Fauves ​Agency for the Performing Arts - Julia Danila & Léa Chalmont.

Artist statement

As a choreographer, I look for the lively negotiation between the choreography and the dancer while dancing, so that the dance stems from the dancers’ internal motivations. My work dwells in the gap between the concrete and the abstract - between functional, daily movements and ones that we could call ‘Dance’. Moreover, I look for ways in which personal sensations can be shared through movement with another - with the audience - leading to a practice of listening so that something intimate can be shared. I am drawn to the intersection of choreography, performance, and sound art, arriving at a place where all the elements of a piece enhance each other. Collaborating with artists from other artistic mediums is essential to my working processes.

In my physical practice, I explore thinking and moving: the negotiation and flow between these two activities. The act of being attentive and open to one’s sensitivity is a core motivation for me, and it informs all aspects of my work.


Zarhy’s teaching is an extension of her choreographic practice and research interests. Creating a supportive environment for asking fragile questions out loud where diverse voices can be expressed and listened to, is key in whatever class she’s giving.
Her dance classes and workshops integrate somatic work with influences from Feldenkrais Method and release technique, starting off with anatomical awareness warm-up directing focus inwards. Gradually, the participants are guided into an in-depth physical research, shifting the focus outwards into space. The physical practice involves durational movement, where the participants have time and space to follow their movement interests and questions.
In her choreography workshops and mentoring of projects, Zarhy sets an emphasis on one’s studio practice. Through choreographic exercises and group discourse, she encourages asking questions while moving and doing, while supporting a loss of an orientation in order to re-find it differently.
Zarhy regularly leads professional classes and workshops for dancers, students and movement based practitioners in a variety of contexts. She has over 15 years of experience teaching. She brings this experience and her practice as a choreographer when invited to work as a teacher or facilitator in any settings. 

May Zarhy portrait
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