Mayim Mayim

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Hebrew: מים מים ("Water, Water"). Circle dance by Else I. Dublin, 1937.

The authorship of Mayim was for a time unknown or disputed, with credit for the first two parts claimed by a teacher in the Degania communities and with Yoav Ashriel giving credit to a teacher in Kibbutz Beit Hashita.[1] Today Else Dublin is generally recognized as the choreographer; her claim is supported by the archives of Kibbutz Na'an.

Dora Sowden, in an article about Gurit Kadmon, reported that in connection with the 1944 Dalia Festival Gurit said: "I did 'mayim mayim' and I am still proud that it still survives---as an anonymous folk dance."[2]

To this, Else Dublin responded: "I created the dance 'Mayim, Mayim' and staged it together with Yehuda Sharett on the occasion of the water festival at [Kibbutz] Na'an when water was found there after a seven-year search. . . . I was also present at the first dance festival at Dalia in 1944 and at that time I pointed out to Gurit Kadman . . . that my name was missing from the printed programme . . . Her answer was that this was a great compliment to me, since the first Israeli folk dance was born thus, i.e. when the choreographer becomes anonymous."[3]

Dora Sowden then responded: "Since my article appeared, Gurit Kadman has written to me . . . saying that 'Mayim, Mayim' was not her dance, 'but was anonymous from the beginning'."[4]

Choreographic note: After going into the center of the circle and back out, the transition to the next section is correctly done in three steps reverse line of direction, RLR, followed by a close left to right without taking weight. The final section then begins hopping on the right foot, as the left foot touches forward and then to the side. This final "hopping" section was not choreographed by Dublin; credit is claimed by Saiya Ben Ya’acov[1].

(The earliest printed instructions[5] are extremely detailed on this point. For example, the L touch to the side while hopping on R is described like this: "The tip of the left foot touches the ground beside and slightly behind the right foot (in line with the right heel, at about one inch distance), while the right foot hops.")

The music of Mayim Mayim was composed by Emanuel Amiran, who was born Emanuel Pougatchov in Warsaw.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Discussion and sources here.
  2. The Jerusalem Post December 3, 1972, p. 6.
  3. The Jerusalem Post, December 25, 1972, p. 10.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Reproduced here and here courtesy of

Mayim Mayim at

Video at Rokdim