Chapman University has retained famed Israeli dancer Ido Tadmor as a Presidential Fellow for the 2017-2018 academic year. Tadmor, who has been on the international dance scene for more than 20 years, will work with students in master classes, offer new travel courses, and choreograph pieces for performances.

man walking in a dance studio with a piano behind him

Presidential Fellow Dancer Ido Tadmor

Tadmor had been teaching for many years at various different schools and companies, when he met Chapman dance faculty member Julianne O’Brien.

“I was so impressed with his professional warmth, transformational teaching, and impactful choreography, that I wrote a proposal to bring him to Chapman as a Presidential Fellow,” said Professor O’Brien.

When Tadmor arrived he had this to say, “I literally fell in love with Chapman. I have to say. There is something, and I keep saying it over and over again – there is something just so good here. There is good energy. The place is so beautiful. People are open-minded. The professors are just fantastic because I can see it also in the students. They come prepared and they come to work. The students come absolutely dedicated and totally focused on the work and this is something that is rare. I’ve been teaching in some other great places, but this is an exceptional place.”

Tadmor’s first showing will be the College of Performing Arts’ Fall Dance Concert Dec. 1 and 2 at Chapman’s Musco Center for the Arts. Tadmor choreographed the work taking inspiration from surrealist painter Rene Magritte. Chapman dance majors perform the work of Tadmor as well as Chapman dance faculty. At this performance, Tadmor stages a moving world premiere based on the work of the artist Magritte.

Tadmor on the piece: “So the first motivation is actually coming from everything that is going around in the world at the moment with more and more countries having very strict extreme right-wing parties. People don’t respect each other anymore; there is hardly any conversation because people are all the time on their telephone. Everything is in the computers. Everything is in the high-tech. There is hardly any natural communication between people. And of course the governments, with everything that is going on, it is becoming with less and less acceptance, less sensitivity to people who might be a little bit different. So that’s one motivation.”

“The second motivation is I have choreographed a piece inspired by the paintings of the wonderful Magritte – a surrealistic painter. I choreographed this piece 25 years ago with a company in Israel.  And when I finished that piece, although it was very successful, I felt that I did not finish analyzing his work. I grew up with his books at home because my mother just loves him. And I’ve actually waited – it waited – for the time for it to come out again. It is one of the best pieces that I have choreographed but it is not because of me – it is because of the student dancers. I could just go deeper and deeper and try new things. I’ve seen a change with the dancers that made me cry. Absolutely.”

Joining this piece are premieres in different genres by Chapman faculty Sean Greene, Alicia Guy, Julianne O’Brien, Liz Maxwell, and Will Johnston. Tadmor will also give a post-show talk to discuss his new work and the process behind its creation.

Tadmor will stay on at Chapman for three more years. In the New Year, Tadmor will work on a project called “Masters at Chapman” where additional international dancers will join him to teach master classes and perform. World renowned artists Dwight Rhoden and Clifford Williams of Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company perform with Tadmor in January. And, Tadmor will continue to choreograph for the Chapman senior dance concert in the spring, as well as bring in additional international colleagues for master classes. Tadmor also plans a travel dance course to Israel next summer.


Ido Tadmor is an internationally acclaimed dancer-choreographer who has performed with legendary companies Bat Dor, Bat Sheva, Lar Luvovitch, and Complexions. Ido is the 2011 winner of the highly respected “Landau Prize” in Israel for life achievement, and has represented the state of Israel around the world as the country’s “Ambassador of Dance” for more than three decades, touring to Cyprus, Paris, Germany, Croatia, Brazil, California, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Poland, Korea, Angola, Poland, Senegal, and Lithuania. He has been named one of the top ten dancers in modern dance by the Vienna Committee and has worked with the National State Ballet of Turkey, the Bolshoi, the Israeli Ballet, the Polish National Ballet, The Dance Academy in Rome, and Artemis in Amsterdam, among many others.

 About Chapman University

As an academically distinguished center of learning, Chapman University attracts extraordinary students and faculty from around the globe. Its ten schools and colleges foster a vibrant intellectual community, and provide extensive opportunities for students to learn, grow and discover alongside remarkable faculty. The University is home to some 8,000 students pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and is alma mater to more than 40,000 alumni found throughout the United States and the world. Now celebrating its 156th year, Chapman is known for its distinguishing strengths in leadership and civic engagement, in the arts and entertainment disciplines, and in specialized sectors of technology and science. The University is comprised of its main campus in Orange, California, and the Rinker Health Science campus for graduate health science programs in Irvine, California. Visit us at

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