Born and raised in New Jersey, Deborah Friedes Galili trained intensively at the American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton Ballet School before diving into modern and contemporary dance. She holds a BA in dance history from Brown University and an MFA in dance from The Ohio State University, where she specialized in directing from Labanotation score. Deborah has performed works by choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Donald McKayle, Anna Sokolow, David Parsons, and Carolyn Dorfman.
Deborah began her practice of Gaga while researching Israeli contemporary dance on a Fulbright grant in 2007-2008. After making aliyah to Israel in September 2008, she founded the online English-language magazine, www.danceinisrael.com. Deborah is the author of the book Contemporary Dance in Israel (Asociación Cultural Danza Getxo, 2012), and her writing has also appeared in newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. Her article, “Reframing the Recent Past: Issues of Reconstruction in Israeli Contemporary Dance,” was published in Dance on Its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies (Oxford University Press, 2013). She also published “Gaga: Moving beyond Technique with Ohad Naharin in the Twenty-First Century” in the peer-reviewed journal Dance Chronicle (2015). Deborah lectures on dance in Israel and teaches dance history for the Dance Jerusalem program at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
Deborah happily joined the Gaga team as an administrator in 2009 and became a certified teacher of Gaga in 2012.