Art & Culture
- Written by Silvia G Golan
THE ISRAEL FESTIVAL, JERUSALEM MAY 30 – JUNE 15, 2019
- Multi-disciplinary productions from France, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, and Poland, bringing together Dance, Music, Theater, Performance Art, Video Art, and Installation;
- International debuts from original Israeli productions
- Modern adaptations to many classics alongside innovative creations from contemporary artists
- Site-specific performances in many different Jerusalem locations
- A grand opening musical production from the creators of the Israel festival, directed by Gilad Kahana
- Child-friendly shows for the whole family
Israel Festival Director Eyal Sher:
“In the arts, we are witnessing a constant attempt to narrow the freedom of artistic expression, but that’s something we do not take into consideration in our programming. We perceive cultural and creative achievement as a unique means to create space for dialogue and cultural encounter. We are proud to continue a consistent line of artistic programming that conforms to just one criterion: excellence.”
Now in its 58th year, the Israel Festival, an internationally-renowned, multi-disciplinary festival, will take place in Jerusalem from May 30 – June 15, 2019, showcasing a rich and varied artistic program from Israel and around the world in the fields of dance, music, theater, performance art, video art, and installation. Among the innovative and contemporary festival programming are original Israeli productions created especially for the festival by independent artists and groups; highly-acclaimed guest productions from France, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, and Poland; site-specific performances in several Jerusalem locations; free outdoor performances and shows suitable for the family. Over 30,000 visitors, Israelis and tourists alike, enjoy the Israel Festival each year, the country’s flagship cultural event that is renowned for inspiring and thought-provoking material that cannot be seen at any other venue or festival.
The festival's layered program is focused on an inter-cultural search for identity from both familiar and new perspectives. It aims to express many different cultural identities, while constantly testing the limits of artistic creation, exposing identity politics, questioning conventions of separation between "artist" and "viewer", between the "self" and the "other"- while spotlighting the fluidity that exists between these definitions and an inspiring, unique artistic space.
The festival continues its’ tradition of integrating the old with the new. Alongside contemporary content, often characterized by multi-disciplinary forms, the festival will feature a number of performances inspired by classic masterpieces of the world, in a range of exciting and surprising adaptations by contemporary artists from Israel
and abroad. As well as featuring guest performances from South Africa, Switzerland, France, Brazil and Poland, a portion of the program will be dedicated to the original productions of Israeli art institutions such as the Itim ensemble, the Revolution Orchestra, virtuoso groups such as the Multipiano and Tremolo percussion ensembles, Clipa Theater, Zik Theater, DAVAI Theater, the new Elad Theater and many others. In addition, this year's festival will feature a rich program of both Israeli and foreign performances offering fun for the whole family.
Alongside venue performances, the festival challenges artists from Israel and the world with site-specific events in Jerusalem's unique sites. These include the Islamic Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, the Tower of David and all over the downtown area, as well as the Eden-Tamir Music Center in Ein Kerem. Some performances invite audiences to take an active part, thus becoming an inseparable part of the artistic happening.
Some of the 2019 Israel Festival highlights include:
- OPENING PERFORMANCE - "Beats Per Second" - The 2019 Israel Festival kicks off with a special open-air concert at the Jerusalem Theater plaza, featuring a sizzling lineup of leading musicians and producers in the Israeli beat scene under the artistic direction of Gilad Kahana. Opening with Atar Mayner who will take over the DJ table with materials from his much-hyped recent debut album, with guests like Dor 3, RASTA HAI, Damsel is Depressed, and Eden Dersso performing music from the album as well as their own materials. DIGITAL MONX – the intriguing new group of Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat (Balkan Beat Box), Itamar Ziegler, Ron Bunker, and Tom Darom follows – featuring Tomer Yosef, Gili Yalo, Eden Dersso, FineBoy, A-WA and Gilad Kahana himself for a wild concert-party of rap, hip hop, Africa and tropical bass. The evening will continue with an intimate After Party on the largest theatre stage with a live laboratory that will draw the audience into the heart of music making. A musical fusion launched by Atar Mayner DJ set will continue with Ape Band (Tamir Muskat, Itamar Ziegler, and Tom Darom), and end with experimental tracks, electronic sets, spoken word, live jams, and rap of all the musicians together. Please note! Tickets to the After Party are limited. May 30, Jerusalem Theater Plaza
- Cullberg of Sweden presents two pieces– “Figure a Sea” is an exciting collaboration between Cullberg and two icons – choreographer Deborah Hay and multidisciplinary artist and composer Laurie Anderson. Inspired by the clubs of Berlin and using ease, accuracy, visibility, ambiguity, and uniformity as the key elements of her creation, Hay draws on the dancers’ intelligence, willingness, humor, and beauty. With transient and irreproducible intimacy, Cullberg dancers unfold an ocean of tenderness to the mysterious and exhilarating sounds created by Anderson. June 5, Jerusalem Theater. In Protagonist one of the most intriguing choreographers working today, Jefta Van Dinther explores notions such as illusion, the visible and the invisible, darkness, voice and image. In Protagonist, his second collaboration with Cullberg Ballet, he gathers the dancers for a tribal techno dance that looks at the human need for both belonging and individuality. Van Dinther creates a space where a group of strangers are intensely present in the now, together. On a dim stage, the 14 dancers form groups that paradoxically only exacerbate the sense of loneliness. Accompanied by a tenuous, cold soundtrack created by Swedish singer-songwriter Elias, Protagonist conveys the melancholy and intensity of the party, while conjuring contemplation on affection, intimacy, and connection as well as isolation, control, and alienation. June 6, Jerusalem Theater. This production contains nudity.
- “And so you see”: A look at post-apartheid South Africa with Laurence Oliver Award-winning veteran choreographer Robyn Orlin On the momentous occasion of South Africa’s 20th Freedom Anniversary in 2014, renowned choreographer Robyn Orlin ponders if the people of South Africa are truly free and whether the promised democratic values, especially gender equality, meet the hopes laid down in the constitution. The exceptional solo fuses a live video work with a mesmerizing performance by South African
performer-healer Albert Khoza. Khoza’s hybrid figure conjures questions of conflicting identities. June 6,7. Jerusalem Theater
- South-African born, France-based performance artist Steven Cohen in his first visit to the Israel Festival, with a tribute to his late partner Elu, presents “Put your heart under your feet…and walk.” Self-described South African, white, gay, Jewish man, Cohen created a performative hybrid that brings together all these identities. Like a fragile, butterfly, he stands alone amid an installation of hundreds of ballet shoes – including ones that belonged to his partner the dancer Elu, dozens of candlesticks, and a skirt made of record players. Behind him, a screen displays scenes that insist on finding the aesthetic in the visceral in the face of the unimaginable finality of death. In a chilling requiem to his partner of twenty years, Cohen performs a brave parting ceremony that celebrates art both as a path of coping with loss and as a resolute choice in a vital and passionate existence. June 6,7. Jerusalem Theater
- Martin Zimmerman, from Switzerland, performsHallo. For more than 20 years, Zimmerman has been bringing his rare chameleon-like quality to stages all over the world. In his latest solo Hallo, he creates a dreamlike, absurd theatre of objects and body with a childlike curiosity and humor. In an enigmatic space where objects have a life of their own, the line between reality and fiction blurs. June 14-15, Jerusalem Theater
- Philippe Quesne from France ("La Mélancolie des Dragons") returns to the Israel Festival with"Night of the Moles" where he creates a subterranean world – home to a family of giant moles who start a rock band. With his distinct style, Quesne’s extraordinary audio-visual language transforms the theatre into a giant cave, evoking mythological and allegorical imagery. In this cave that represents all caves, from a prehistoric dwelling through Plato’s cave to a nuclear bunker, the moles live their magical and mischievous, yet melancholic and lonely life. His performance is presented in two different versions - one for mature audiences (13 June), and another (15 June) suitable for the whole family. Jerusalem Theater
- Brazilian choreographer Marcelo Evelin and five performers, whose naked bodies are painted black from head to toe, present a creation entitled “Suddenly everywhere is black with people” inspired by "Crowds and Power" from Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti. Moving as a single human body, they compel the viewers to constantly reposition themselves. In a fascinating reversal, a choreography of dancers becomes a choreography of a crowd. June 13,14. Jerusalem Theater
- “Songs of Lear" performed by the Song of Goat Theater from Poland-based on the classic play King Lear, Songs of Lear mixes a movement, sound, singing, music, and text to create a powerful distillation of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. Standing in a choral circle on an empty stage, the Songs of The Goat ensemble disassembles the narrative and interweaves its fragments into a polyphonic vocal performance. The outcome is a profoundly moving musical ritual that unravels surprising underlying rhythms and mysterious energies in the Shakespearian play. June 13,14. Jerusalem Theater
- “Viewfield” from the Clipa Theater Israel. Returning to the Israel Festival for the eighth time, Clipa Theater continues to push the boundaries of theatre with a performance that explores the social and political arenas of the artistic action and audience-performer relationship. From the vantage point of a high balcony, the audience is invited to gaze down at the street along the seam between Jaffa Road and the Old City walls, as Clipa Theater members blend into the urban landscape and the everyday activity in the city at twilight. The unique perspective as an audience and the expectation for something to happen will imbue and alter each audience’s perception of the events. Safra Square, June 4,5,11,12
- A one-night only show marking the 400th anniversary of the birth of the most celebrated Yemenite poet, Rabbi Shalom Shabazi. Israel’s most beloved leading musicians Ester Rada, Berry Sakharof, Liron Amram, Miri Mesika, Sagiv Cohen, Idan Amedi, Zion Golan, Shai Tsabari, and S H I R A N will perform familiar songs and new adaptations of Shabazi poems created especially for the show. June 11 Tower of David Museum.
- "Romeo and Juliet - The Last Supper" - this site-specific adaptation of Shakespeare's classic created by the Elad Theater invites the audience to take part in the celebration - eat, drink, dance to live music and
experience up close the impossible drama of Romeo and Juliet, one of the greatest love stories in western culture. Courtyard of Museum of Natural History, Jerusalem. June 10,11,12
- "King Matt" , the first ever stage adaptation for adults of Janusz Korczak’s iconic children’s book King Mat the First, featuring Zvi Sahar and the Itim Ensemble. June 7, Jerusalem Theater
- "The Planets, A Journey Through the Stars" - a special production commemorating 100 years since the debut of Gustav Holst's "The Planets" , performed by the Tremolo and Multipiano ensembles. World renowned MultiPiano Ensemble and Tremolo Percussion Ensemble collaborate in an intergalactic evening with a new rendition of Gustav Holst’s seminal piece. Holst’s The Planets unfolds a sound portrait of all the planets in the solar system. Completed in 1918, the iconic piece revolutionized writing for orchestras and has since inspired countless Hollywood soundtracks, including Star Wars. On the centennial of its premiere, seven prominent Israel composers – Joseph Bardanashvili, Ziv Cojocaru, Avner Dorman, Avner Hanani, Udi Perlman, Israel Sharon, and Tomer Yariv – revisit the piece with new orchestrations. With two grand pianos and a dizzying array of percussion instruments, MultiPiano Ensemble and Tremolo Percussion Ensemble will take us on an interstellar journey through an extraordinary world of sounds that shifts between past and present, presenting Holst’s timeless piece through the eyes of contemporary composers. The concert will also include Ravel’s Spanish Rhapsody and Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain. June 2, Jerusalem Theater
- In Re: Play, the Revolution Orchestra embarks on a journey of music and video art in the footsteps of iconic musicians from all genres and eras. Four of the orchestra’s composers revisit the musical legends who inspired their work, bringing them together on one stage with original music and video works that will be screened among the musicians. For one night, Jacqueline du Pré and Jimi Hendrix, Astor Piazzolla and Édith Piaf, Marvin Gaye and Yehudi Menuhin, John Lennon and Glenn Gold, Luciano Pavarotti and Freddie Mercury will all come to life in an exceptional musical-visual multisensory experience. June 15, Jerusalem Theater
- The Great Gehenna Choir perform "Tikun Chatsot" - a vocal journey in the steps of David Avidan's mystical poetry. Monday, June 3-4, Jerusalem Theater
- “Happy Metal” In this exhilarating roadshow, DAVAI group plays musicians in a Swedish heavy metal band who stumble onto the wrong stage and have to adapt their wild show to an audience of children. The show must go on! Grim idols of Nordic metal accept the challenge and save the show, using wild imagination and unexpected talents to create a hilarious rock concert for children and their parents. With the magical and witty language of clowning, the performers ask the children in the audience about their world, communicate with them at eye level, and show little and big viewers how we can communicate in a rich language of images, objects, music and dance. June 5-6, Jerusalem Theater
- Jewelry Making- Ophaned Land – Mira Awad. The Israel Festival continues its collaboration with the Museum for Islamic Art in a special night of cross-cultural meeting through art and music. On the occasion of the new exhibition showcasing the wealth of jewelry in the three religions, the museum will open its doors to the public and host a concert of world-renowned Israeli rock band Orphaned Land featuring singer-songwriter Mira Awad. The concert will fuse together different styles – rock and metal,
middle eastern folk music, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian elements, and verses from the Bible, the New Testament, and the Quran. June 12, Museum of Islamic Art
- Festivan– The Incubator Theater. Throughout the Festival, a mobile stage truck will surprise people on the streets of Jerusalem with popup music shows – from hip hop and spoken word to Mexican rock and Azerbaijani soul music.
Over the past four years, Israel Festival Director Eyal Sher and Artistic Director Itzik Giuli have led the Israel Festival on a path of artistic innovation. The festival, under their management, has set a clear goal - to identify on the global culture and art scene new artistic movements, forms and languages, as well as innovative and original interpretations, while conserving the festival's historical value and its’ achievements for over 50 years. Recent years have seen a rise in the number of young audience members, as a result of both the artistic program and the affordable pricing policy.
Dan Halperin, Chairman, Israel Festival:
" In association with many cultural institutions, among them, the Institut Français, the Polish Institute, and the Brazilian Embassy, the festival continues to take its place as a central stage for international art and creativity, as well as a bridge for artistic collaboration between Israeli and international artists."
Eyal Sher, Director, Israel Festival: "We are very excited to present the 58th Israel Festival program, and invite you to enjoy the finest contemporary stage and performance arts in the country and from around the world. Unique, out-of-the-box performances that will bring new light to our world and open doors to new ones; art that will question, disrupt, upset, entertain, excite and inspire. In the arts, we are witnessing a constant attempt to narrow the freedom of artistic expression, but that’s something that we do not take into consideration in our programming. We perceive cultural and creative achievement as a unique means to create space for dialogue and cultural encounter. We are proud to continue a consistent line of artistic programming that conforms to just one criterion: excellence. A festival is an adventure. Come see two, three, four or more performances - now are the time to break away from routine!"
Itzik Giuli, Artistic Director, Israel Festival: "This year's program reflects the artists’ growing interest in questions related to identity. The contemporary creations of the 2019 Israel Festival tell us a story about our connection, as a community, to the historical narratives that create our identity as a society, as well as the reasons and actions taken for the creation of one's personal and social identity. Artists deal with these issues, each in their own special way and form, and the performances reflect the natural evolution of art that moves with time, takes on new shapes, blurs the disciplinary borders, and completely changes the relationship between performer and audience. The result: an astonishing artistic expression of contemporary, bold, brave and exciting creation."
This year, the Israel Festival is launching a Friends Giving Circle to help support its growth and ongoing activity. The Friends Giving Circle facilitates the gift of high-quality art and performance to a wide range of audiences by subsidizing tickets and funding free events in public spaces. In addition, the Friends Giving Circle of the Israel Festival will support the creation of original productions in Israel, international collaboration and a large number of special projects. Friends of the Giving Circle become partners in its artistic achievements, based on values of dialogue, tolerance, and understanding, and aimed at strengthening Jerusalem's multi-cultural character as well as enriching the cultural landscape throughout the country. More details about the initiative can be found on the festival's website.
The Israel festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Jerusalem, Mifal HaPais lottery, the Jerusalem Foundation, as well as many public and private foundations. The festival is held in association with the Polish Institute, Institut Français, the Brazilian Embassy, the Organization for Preservation of Jewish-Yemenite Culture, Yad Ben Zvi, and more.
Pricing and Special Offers:
All tickets range between NIS 60 - 180
Senior citizens, students, and active duty soldiers are all eligible for a 20% discount.
Special bundle tickets are available when purchasing at least 2 tickets to double feature events during the evening performances on June 6 and 13, and during matinees on June 7 and 14.
Detailed information can be found on the festival website.
The Israel Festival is offering shuttle services on the opening night May 30 as well Thursdays June 6 and 13 from Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Beer Sheva, facilitating the attendance of 2 or more shows in a row. Details regarding timetables and routes can be found on the Festival's website.
For tickets and more information: https://www.israel-festival.org/en/
- Written by Pamela Hickman
The Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival takes place twice a year in and around Abu Gosh, a town located 16 kilometers west of Jerusalem on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. The 55th Abu Gosh Festival will take place from June 7th to 9th 2019, with a line-up of 13 concerts suited to a variety of musical tastes. Events take place in two churches - the spacious Kiryat Ye’arim Church, sitting high up on a hill, and the Crypt below the 12th century Benedictine Crusader church, set in a magical, exotic garden in the lower quarter of Abu Gosh. The Abu Gosh Festival has existed in its present format since 1992. People come from far and wide to attend concerts, sit in on the more informal outdoor musical events, picnic in the open, buy trinkets at the stalls set up near the Kiryat Ye’arim Church and relax in the surroundings of the Judean Hills. The festival features many Israeli artists and groups, also hosting overseas choirs. As of 1995, Hannah Tzur has served as musical director. A contralto who has soloed with major Israeli orchestras and conductors, Ms. Tzur has been directing the Ramat Gan Chamber Choir for 20 years.
The Kiryat Ye’arim Church will host a number of classical events; “Puccini’s Requiem” (Concert No.3) conducted by Hannah Tzur herself, Telemann’s opera “Orpheus” (Concert No.4) conducted by Yair Polishook, Bach’s St. John Passion (Concert No.9) under the baton of Michael Shani and versatile soprano Keren Hadar will perform with the Tremolo Ensemble directed by marimba player Tomer Yariv (Concert No.1). Overseas guest artists appearing at the Kiryat Ye’arim Church are the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under Kaspars Putninš (Concerts 2, 5 and 8) and Concert No.7, which will feature the Bach Freiburg Choir (conductor: Hans Reich), to be joined by the (Israeli) Maayan Choir.(conductor: Anat Morahg) in a program of Rossini, Brahms, Villa-Lobos and Gabrieli.
Take a wander down to the Romanesque Crusader Church. Below it, the Crypt, which was built in a former reservoir of the second century, is massive and austere; in some places its walls are more than 3½ meters thick. At its center flows a spring. In the church’s exotic, tranquil garden, a local man will be there to serve you coffee with cardamom and rich, sweet pastries. Some of the more intimate and different-style concerts take place here. In “Pulsating Poetry and Prayer” (Concert No.10), the Sirenot Ensemble will present a variety of Jewish vocal music, soprano Tal Ganor will sing works of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and more in “Sound the Trumpet” (Concert 11), soprano Revital Raviv and friends will take listeners on a musical tour of the British Isles (Concert No.12) and soprano Sivan Rotem, Yair Kless (violin) and Jonathan Zak (piano) will present works “From Italy to Argentina” (Concert No.13).
For ticket reservations:
Bimot : 02-6237000 or *6226
Bravo: *3221, 0722753221
During the festival, tickets will be available at the churches (cash only)
Photo: Berthold Werner
- Written by Sillvia Golan
Dance the integration - TOYA
In preparation for the Eurovision Song Contest, an exceptional video clip of social value for TOY is currently being released.
The unique video calls for raising awareness of the integration of people with disabilities in the community, and it is attended by children and adults with special needs, alongside dozens of teenagers from the Tel Aviv Arts School.
In preparation for the Eurovision Song Contest, "CHIMES Israel" initiated the TOYA project, which calls for raising awareness of the integration of people with disabilities in the community. In the framework of the project, they produced a special and moving video clip, in which children and adults with disabilities from the age group of 10-70 dance the song "TOY" by Neta Barzilai, along with dozens of teenagers, dance students from the Tel Aviv arts school and employees of the association.
TOYA was inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest and its social message, about accepting the different and the other and the right of people with disabilities to participate equally and actively in the community in all spheres of life. Alongside the apprentices and dancers, makeup artists from the Ravit Assaf School of Makeup came to the project voluntarily. They made up the participants and made them feel stars. In addition, specially prepared costumes worn by participants during the clip.
The project is the result of the collaboration of the Chimes Israel association with the "Maon Dehu" association, led by choreographer Nachshon Stein, who specializes in dance and movement for people with special needs.
George Zimmerman, CEO of "CHIMES Israel", said: "The value of the "integration" of people with disabilities in the community, is one of the core goals of the association. Art in general and dance in particular, provide valuable tools, meaning and opportunity to create communication and dialogue for people with disabilities and the community, alongside educational activities rich and experiential".
"Chimes Israel" believes that every person with special needs has the right and ability to integrate into the community and live a life of dignity, independence and fulfillment while realizing its potential. The association has been leading for 27 years in providing many and varied services, to promote and integrate people with special needs in the community from birth to old age, under the supervision of the Ministries of Welfare, Health, Education and in cooperation with the National Insurance Institute.
"Dance is the secret language of the soul" Martha Graham, dancer and choreographer.
Photo Micha Hadar
- Written by Maccabi World Union
- Written by David Goland
The Italian Institute for Culture in Tel Aviv gladly accepted an invitation by Bikurei Ha’itim Community Centre in Tel Aviv, for an evening of Italian Culture. Bikurei Ha’itim Municipal Centre is a professional studio for performing arts.
Fabio Ruggirello, the director of the Italian Institute of Culture, the guest of honor, accompanied by his lovely secretaries, Barbara and Miriam, greeted a local crowd of about a hundred people who gathered to experience the wonders of Italy. The Institute gave out copies of a beautiful booklet in Hebrew describing the cultural, historic and culinary treasures of Italy. The Italian Institute for Culture (Instituto Italiano de Cultura) is attached to the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv with a branch in Haifa. The Institute offers Italian language courses and various cultural events.
Within the framework of the Eurovision Song Contest currently taking place in Tel Aviv, several Tel Aviv community centers “adopted” European delegations, and invited them to visit the centers. Bikurei Ha’itim is proud to host the Italian delegation to Eurovision.
The program included song, drama, dance, all performed by the students of Bikurei Ha’itim, and food provided by Pasta Mia restaurant. Three dance ensembles from Bikurei Ha’itim performed a Tarantella dance, a contemporary dance to Monteverdi’s music (what an ingenious juxtaposition!), as well as a children’s Hip-hop style dance choreographed, to the Italian song entry to be performed next Saturday’s Eurovision final stage by Italian singer Bilal Hassani. Orr, an a ten years old boy, played a piano version of a Tarantella song and Vivaldi’s “Spring”. Mr. Alberto Levy sang a Hebrew version of the Neapolitan song Maruzzella, Mr. Gletzki acted out a humorous monologue of Geppetto complaining about his rogue son Pinocchio, and finally a trio dressed in red-white-green performed a Hebrew song.
Pasta Mia restaurant provided to each guest a glass of refreshing prosecco and a slice of tasty focaccia at the door, and then a taste of fine pasta in a rich tasting sauce at the end of the evening. Chef Ilan Moses was represented by Tsadok who told the audience the history of pasta, the traditions associated with pasta, and its serving style. Charming Mr. Riccardo Hoffman, the restaurant’s promoter, was there to assure that we can all enjoy the food.
Photos by Riccardo Hofmann and David Goland