A tribute to Ida

Ida Arbeit passed away Tuesday morning, March 15, 2011 in St.Paul Minnesota. Exactly a week ago Ida was dancing, sharing stories and performing as usual with consummate skill and fabulous timing with, as she called us “her dance company,” Kairos Dance Theatre. Ida, Irv Williams and Kairos performers were being filmed for the Twin Cities Public Television show, “Minnesota Original.” Ida wowed us all once again- even if she was in a wheel chair. She thanked us that day, many times. She told us how much it meant to her that we danced with her. And we tried to tell her, many times, how much she had gifted us- and how much we loved her.

Ida, I am so grateful that I have had the honor to collaborate with you as a fellow dancer and choreographer these past few years. You have brought your expertise, your perceptive eye and your insatiable hunger for making good, strong dances, and you have sheared them generously with me and “your company.” You have blessed us with your great laugh and your stories that make it clear to us that you have lived your life and the people in it with much passion. Your strong desire to be deeply engaged in every moment of your life inspires me to reach for the seemingly impossible- as both an artist and a mortal.

We already miss you Ida. Thank you for sharing your legacy as a dancer/choreographer and deep lover of life. You have made a big difference in my life and I know in the lives of many, many people.

With love and gratitude,

Maria and your dance company,

Kairos Dance Theatre

We encourage you to share your favorite Ida moment here, on our blog and Facebook page.


The mission of Kairos Dance Theatre is to transform and revitalize individuals and communities. We work with older adults in intergenerational settings to liberate the healing power of interactive dance and story. We achieve our mission by engaging the skills of professional teaching artists.

6 Responses to A tribute to Ida

  1. It was so great to see Ida in your performances. She’s a role model for how it can look to be in an older body. Blessings to you all.

  2. Debra Lach says:

    Ida’s incredible feisty nature – both on-stage and off-stage – will live in my memories for a very long time. Thanks to the Kairos circle for introducing this incredible woman to us. We will miss her presence in the circle.

  3. joan says:

    Ida lived a life of passion and purpose until the day she died. What a blessing.

  4. Joseph (Joe) Finley says:

    An inspiration to all!

  5. Jerry Wolfe says:

    My dearest Aunt Ida,
    You, sister of my mom, Bessie are and will always remain a guiding star in my life. Your love of laughter, your passion for life, your unwavering energy regardless of what life placed in your path, stays with me each and every day.
    My time with you was such a joy, may you dance across the universe
    with love
    your nephew

  6. Janice Warren says:

    I first met Ida when I worked as the Activites Coordinator at The Wellington Assisted Living in St. Paul. She was a new resident and had a sparkle like no other lady I had ever known!! We became friends immediately!! She and I danced every time we had social hour and played Scrabble (which she always won!) on game afternoons. I will miss her but know that we will meet again in heaven where I AM SURE she is dancing with the angels!!! Shalom!!

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