'Karavan’s physical discipline is extraordinary. Every pulse and movement count’


Award winning Dancer, actress, director and founder of the Karavan ensemble. Yael was born in Israel, grew up in Florence and Paris and has been based in the U.K since 1996. At the age of 13 she began a successful acting career in the National Theatre, television, radio and films in Israel. In 1995 she has travelled Europe, Russia, Brazil and Japan studying with masters such as Anton Adassinski from Russian theatre Derevo, Nigel Charnock from DV8, Philippe Genty (puppets and object theatre), Philippe Gaulier (Graduated his school in London), Jerzy Winnicki (Grotowski), Lume Teatro- The Actors’ Physical training, Monica Pagnieux (Complicite theatre), Sue Morrison (Clown through mask), and Butoh masters Kazuo Ohno, Tadashi Endo, Carlotta Ikeda, Yumiko Yoshioka, Akiko Motofuji, Ko Morobushi, Katsura Kan and more, searching to create an elaborate method of physical training for the performer and to develop a contemporary physical language of expression bridging between east and west, dance and theatre.
Her work is often described as visual poetry, Drawing on elements of Butoh, dance, mime, clown, physical and visual theatre she explores the themes of humanity, Memory, Metamorphosis, the invisible and the notion of repetitive cycles, intertwining dreamlike atmospheres with a humorous edge, constantly balancing on the fine line between the tragic and the comic, the intimate and the collective. Yael often works in a site specific / responsive context and with strong visual elements.
She has created and performed numerous solo shows, touring world-wide, and in 2006 was awarded the TEATRONETO prize for best performance with her solo The Way Home. She has been, amongst others, member of Derevo multiple award winning physical theatre Russian company, Mamu Dance Theatre of Tadashi Endo, Ten-Pen Chi of Yumiko Yoshioka and a founding member of the site-specific international company Adapt- Theatre Picture Collision. She has been working with Tanya Khabarova (Derevo), Naomi Silman (LUME), Ephia (Djalma primordial science), Linda Remahl, Fran Barbe, Marie Gabriel Rotie, Bruno Humberto, Adam Read as well as collaborating with various artists, actors and Dancers nationally and internationally.
In 2009 she founded The Karavan Ensemble, A site specific/responsive company of international performers with an exciting mixture of performance skills and backgrounds, with whom she has devised and directed, amongst others, award winning show Anima (Argus Angel award) in recognition for artistic excellence at the Brighton Festival & Fringe 2011. A Ship of Fools, A Light through the Night commissioned for Brighton’s White Night, The Dressing Room for Brighton Dome, A Small Museum of Displaced Sea commissioned by the award winning Dip Your Toe project as well as two big site responsive projects in Cologne, Germany and numerous community projects in Brighton and beyond.
Yael is currently touring her various collaborations including, Pupik- a contemporary tale in search of Identity, with Naomi Silman from acclaimed LUME teatro, Brazil, and with her solos D-Code, Future Proofed and Living Threads while teaching internationally as well as mentoring and directing various performers and companies in the U.K and Brazil. She is a co-founder of Butoh Brighton and has created numerous installations and short films/ music videos.
Her work has been supported, amongst others, by Arts Council England, Brighton & Hove Council, South East Dance, Awards for all, Hollingdean Youth Trust, Coachwerks, The Nightingale Theatre and The Dome theatre, Brighton, Rich Mix and Shunt in London, Matan Foundation for the Arts, Micadances- Paris, Atelier de Paris Carolyn Carlson and CCN Magui Marin, France and cultural association Delloscompiglio Art Centre, Italy.
Since 1999 Yael has been teaching workshops internationally;
at the Brighton, Reading and Oxford University in the U.K, Kinki University, Osaka and the Asbestos Kan studio in Tokyo, Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Seaux- France, The Habima National Theatre & Theatre of the body school (le coq branch) in Tel-Aviv, Lume Theatre Research Nucleus and SESCI in São Paulo as well as in Rio, Recife and Natal, at BAW (Bilingual Acting Workshops) in Paris, TTI (Theatre training initiative) in London, Oxford dance forum, Conflux in Edinburgh as well as in Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and Madrid amongst others.
- Spoken languages (fluent): English, French, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil) and Hebrew.

Access CV HERE


Press Critiques

'With elements of Butoh and Dance, Karavan’s physical discipline is extraordinary. Every pulse and movement count as she lets us into the intimate womb she inhabits. In this sensual piece… all is communicated' (about 'From the earth- A memory)



'There is no doubt Yael Karavan is an amazing performer; her physicality and focus was impressive to say the least. She seemed to be a ring master who'd lost he's circus and instead replaced the acts with inanimate objects. (about In-Between) Lorraine Smith for remotegoat.co.uk


‘Yael Karavan proved herself a charismatic entertainer in Solas Dance Company’s Assembly-part1. Framed by oversize fairy lights in gaudy colours, Karavan blitzed through klezmer, gypsy and tango fiddle in a glorious parody of a ladies’ night out. Karavan’s vaudeville clown stumbled into mimes of flirtation and femininity, insecure, questioning and sometimes melancholy.'     



‘There are so many aspects and individual moments that could be singled out for praise, but it is in the sum of its parts that D-Code holds its power. The rich tapestry of visuals with a strong, but mostly unspoken undercurrent of political and personal crises (and resolution) of identity and global displacement is a pleasure to watch and also provoked sentiments that are beyond words.’ Total Theatre


‘Your show has re-ignited a passion to see more inspiring art. From start to finish it was sensorially immersive and emotionally engaging.  the soundscape was always spot-on, the props & costumes often simple but always stunning. The use of light was exceptional.’ Audience feedback


‘'The Way Home is exceptional and different in its character and quality. It is a total theatre performance, created mainly from visual imagery around the subject of femininity and the concept of Home. Yael Karavan, with her body and face - mainly with her eyes - full and rich of expression, is leading the audience through a chain of beautiful images and thus transforming the concept of Home into the belly button of the world.’ (about The Way Home)                  Michael Handelzalts- HAARETS


‘The Way Home is an independent and original creation with astounding visual imagery… Especially breath taking are the opening and closing images of the piece... The creation of Yael Karavan and Naomi Silman is full of beauty, enriched by a magical lighting designed by Uri Rubinstein and a moving soundtrack mixed by Uri Frost.’ (about The Way Home) Zvi Goren- HABAMA (The Stage)                                              

‘An exceptional non-verbal theatrical experience which creates an inspiring, aesthetic, touching and precise physical language. The high professional level of the performer, and the natural way in which she has bridged between the physical and the textual parts of the performance, as well as the wide variation of characters that she enacted with much talent, all of the above have brought us to the prominent conviction that Yael Karavan deserves to receive the price of the TEATRONETO festival.’
(about The Way Home)                                                                  Jury of the TEATRONETO festival.

'That's the power of Karavan Ensemble’s peculiarly brilliant work...perilous, edgy and exquisitely executed' –Metro (about - Somnambules)

'Visceral and beautiful, powerful and tender, this is a show that makes an impact' ****- a Younger Theatre. (about Somnambules)

'Stunning visuals… bold and compelling' **** – Broadway Baby (about Somnambules)

'The visual imagery of this piece is rich and deep. The physical performances are stunning' – Total Theatre (about Somnambules)

'Yael Karavan is so charismatic that her performances- even the relatively simple dancing with members of the audience- make everything going on around her seem a little dimmer’ -Fringe Guru. (about- a ship of fools)

'A strikingly original production' -Total Theatre Magazine (about award winning- Anima)
‘So grand is the universe created by the Karavan Ensemble that it spills out into our own’ -The Argus (about award winning Anima)

'Powerful and subtle…the Karavan Ensemble managed to convey through art a human experience not easily defined – transient and infinite like light! Magical.' Latest 7 (about – Anima)

‘There are moments of quit exquisite staging, where the underlying theme of mankind sleepwalking into the destruction of the planet - showcase not just the duo’s imaginative vision but their command of physical theatre styles.’ (about Somnambules) The Herald.

'visually captivating… stand out for their originality' (about Somnambules) The List 

'so confidently bold and beautiful that this show is a treat.' (about Somnambules) Fringe Review Recommended Show

'The visual imagery of this piece is rich and deep. The physical performances are stunning' (about Somnambules)– Total Theatre

'An impressive, disturbing and beautiful performance' (about Somnambules) Three Weeks

'a pretty wild show ... with epic moments' (about Somnambules) Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

'5 stars. Firmly in the Derevo stable, this show is wondrous and joyously playful, yet resounds with the greed and horror of human existence. Enjoy!' (about Somnambules) Audience review (edfringe.com)

'A strikingly original production'
Total Theatre Magazine

‘So grand is the universe created by the Karavan Ensemble that it spills out into our own’
The Argus

'In Anima, Yael Karavan and her brilliant company of international performers, the Karavan Ensemble, invite you to leave the everyday behind and go with them on a journey, an exploration of light and dark in a “magical feast” The Argus

'Powerful and subtle, this piece from the Karavan Ensemble managed to convey through art a human experience not easily defined – transient and infinite like light! Magical.' Latest 7

'The experience was carnivalesque, hypnotic, and derealised: a non-sequential trip through the human psyche. The phrase ‘weird but wonderful’ springs to mind, as Anima was precisely that' The New Current

'The whole piece is visually stunning and shot through with a dazzling melancholy'  Fringe Guru