Take six clowns, a fistful of imagination, a dollop of gibberish and a slice or
two of creative daftness and you have Rajat Kapoor’s interpretation of
Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It’s part of the first Celebrating India in Israel
Festival that also brings dance, music, literature, food, Bollywood and the
“There is already a strong affinity between our people going
back centuries,” said Indian ambassador Navtej Sarna at the press conference,
“and we at the embassy feel that people-topeople contact is best achieved in an
The Indian embassy is the festival’s main sponsor
and hopes it will become an annual event. Hamlet, in English and gibberish, will
be performed at Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theater on May 16-18.
will be The Sound of the Bamboo Flute, played by master musician Hari Prasad
Chaurasia, well known to local audiences. Then there’s legendary Bollywood star
Sharmila Tagore in Conversation at the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
Tagore starred in more than 100 movies, and in 1999 France
conferred upon her the Legion of Honor. The Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa
cinematheques will also feature some dozen Indian movies.
For those who’d
like to learn more about its beauties, Osnat Elkabir presents The Trained
Listener (18/5), or how to listen to classical Indian music. She’ll be playing
some of these ragas along with Ritwik Sanjyal and Prasad Kathak
There’s also sufi singer Zila Khan and the thoroughly modern
Mrigya ensemble presenting world music.
“Classical traditions are alive,
well and evolving,” said festival producer Sanjoy Roy, “thanks to the influx of
young people who respect the traditions yet reflect them through today’s art
Dance often reflects this, and the Suzanne Dellal Dance Center in
Tel Aviv will host the Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company with Uncharted Seas, and
Sriyah from the Nrityagram Dance Company. There will also be a free Bollywood
dance workshop for the whole family with noted teacher Gilles Chuyen.
least Words on Water is a day-long literary symposium for Israeli and Indian
authors at Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem, featuring among the rest,
Ambassador Sarna, a noted author as well as a diplomat.
The dance is in
Tel Aviv, the music mostly in Jerusalem. For more info, go to
Roy’s company, and this is his first venture in Israel. He sees the festival as
“creating a platform for dialogue between people. Culture is a way of doing
that. It offers an opportunity to understand each other’s mindset.”
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