The dance is a good example of early Israeli dances. It combines elements of appreciation of nature, optimism, equality (circle formation), and traditional spiritual values. Here’s the whole dance:
And some instructions:
The dance was choreographed in 1956 by Raya Spivak to a song written by her husband, Joseph Spivak. The song’s text is from Isaiah 52:7 “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of them bringing good news. Proclaim to Zion deliverance. Proclaim to Zion Shalom (peace)”.
Ma Navu also features the most distinctive step in Israeli dances, the yemenite step.
Yemen was home to Jews for thousands of years. Legend has it that Jewish silversmiths were sent to Yemen, then ruled by the Queen of Sheba, around 1000 BCE. In 1949, 50,000 Jews from Yemen were secretly airlifted to Israel, and their arrival had a profound influence on Israeli dance culture.
Here’s the original Yemenite dancing from which the step was extracted. You can see it briefly at :45 seconds, 2:28 & 2:32.
Here’s how to do the yemenite steps: Ma Mavu features a Right Yemenite, and both Right and Left Back Yemenites.
Another teaching vid: