Born in Jerusalem in 1910, Levi-Tanai is of Yemenite decent. After losing her entire family to a typhoid epidemic during WWI, she grows up in an orphanage run by Ashkenazim (European Jews), and is exposed to European music, art and culture. Beginning to compose music and write small plays for her students while working as a kindergarten teacher, she meets many other female dancers while living in Kibbutz Ramat Ha’kovesh, which inspires incorporation of her Mizrahi (Eastern Jewish) roots into her music, plays and dance numbers. She eventually founds the famous Inbal Dance Company, earning her the Israel Prize in 1973.