Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)
An Israeli dancer made use of Jewish props in an extraordinary routine that left judges amazed when he auditioned for season 12 of TV dance competition So You Think You Can Dance on Monday.
At first, the panel of judges appeared confused when Asaf Goren, 23, began his audition in Los Angeles with a tallit (prayer shawl) over his head and the blowing of a shofar, which he explained “opens the sky” for people’s prayers. However, as soon as he started his “Hebrew breaking” performance, judges Nigel Lythgoe, Paula Abdul, and Jason Derulo were enthralled by his moves.
The Tel Aviv native, who calls himself “The Hebrew Breaker” performed to Madonna’s Isaac, featuring Hebrew lyrics. He opened with a fast paced break dancing routine before ripping off his shirt and throwing a bucket of water on stage to speed up his movements.
The audience and judges responded to Goren’s performance with a spirited standing ovation. One fellow dancer was caught on camera mouthing “wow” repeatedly.
“I think everybody in this theater is absolutely shocked at what they’ve just seen there,” Lythgoe told Goren afterward. “As for me, I have no idea still what Hebrew B-boy is, but I would say, in the British vernacular, that was bloody great B-boying.”
Abdul, who at first seemed too shocked to speak, complimented Goren’s “wonderful personality.” “We’re definitely going to remember [this],” she said, before Lythgoe mentioned that Goren’s signature move, a forward dive onto his back, was exactly the kind of thing they look for on the show.
“You’re heart was bursting out of your chest and we felt it,” Abdul continued. “It was incredible.”
Goren told the judges that his style of break dancing is infused with elements from Jewish and Israeli culture. “I see so many dancers around the world, so many breakers, I really got tired,” he said, “I got bored, to be honest from the regular, basic B-boying. I really tried to use my culture.”
The third judge, Derulo, told Goren he was a “star” and said he believes the contender “will create something special that can change the world.” The singer also admitted he was initially put off by Goren’s confidence, “but after watching you perform, I understand why you have that amount of confidence because it’s the truth.”
“It’s not being cocky,” Derulo said. “I believe you 100 percent. And If I can help that dream come true, I’m down to help that.”
Derulo and Lythgoe then commented on the dancer’s resemblance to Aladdin and Rock Hudson before all three judges voted to let Goren continue on to the next stage of the competition.
Watch Goren’s audition in the video below: