Israel Festival play 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy PR)
With apologies to Browning – “Oh, to be in Israel now that May is
near.” May means the Israel Festival Jerusalem and this year’s, the 52nd,
runs from May 25 to June 22 in and around the Jerusalem Theater and, new this
year, at various historic sites. Festival general manager Yossi Talgan explains
that “we are making a special effort to extend our audience base which is why we
are offering one-time arts experiences that are sitespecific, and there’ll also
be a lot of programs over the weekend so that people can spend a few days at the
Adds Festival Artistic director Moshe Kepten: “The emphasis
this year is on the contemporary, both from here and abroad, in theater, music
and dance, that reflect the pulse of our times.”
And for us
English-speaking theater fans – oh frabjous day! – all three of the prize-laden
theater imports are in English.
They are the wild and weird The Bee
Hedeki Noda and Colin Teevan from Tokyo Metropolitan Theater in collaboration
with NODA-MAP, from 1927 comes the exuberant multimedia fantasy Animals and
taken to the streets by Suzanne Andrade, and The Table
puppetry inspired by Beckett, the Bible and Ikea” from the cutting-edge Blind
Summit, both of these UK companies.
Children can enjoy Shiraz’ Heart
dance, music and theater piece by singer Rita, adapted from a folktale her
mother told her, and Shakespeare’s As You Like It
, adapted and directed by Ido
Additionally the inventive Zik Group presents Mysterium
, a multi-media spectacular on the cosmos, and the enormously
gifted Yehezkel Lazarov makes his Festival debut with Igloo, a story of love,
dreams and revenge.
We do great dance. The Kibbutz Dance Company (KDC),
L-E-V and Anat Grigorio all have new pieces. Sharon Eyal and Guy Bechar
are L-E-V and have made Housen
, a dance installation created for the spaces at
Hansen House, the former Jerusalem Leprosarium.
KDC comes with Lacking
, an exploration of lack in its various aspects and Grigorio’s piece,
Mr. Nice Guy
asks “Who, exactly, is ‘me?’” Emanuel Gat started choreographing
here in ’94. Now he lives and works in France. He and his company bring The
, the story of a family set to “a dramatic montage of text, music
From the Guggenheim to the Tower of David, Carlos Chamorro’s
Dressed to Dance
combines flamenco and fashion in costumes designed by Picasso,
Dali and contemporary Spanish designers.
The Geneva Ballet comes with two
by Greek-born choreographer Andonis Foniadakis and Les Noces
Marriage) by the UK’s Didy Veldman.
Classical music buffs can thrill to
Handel’s Esther performed by the Israel Vocal Ensemble and the Baroquada
orchestra conducted by David Stern, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring
– it’s the
Stravinsky centenary – with the IBA orchestra conducted by Frederic Chaslin,
some great early music from Belgium’s 10-member Vox Luminis conducted by Lionel
Meunier, and including Domenico Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater
The Tower of
David Museum and the YMCA will host “Holy City,” three concerts of works
connected with Jerusalem by Estonia’s Andres Mustonen, the Hortus Musicus
consort he founded in 1973, and the 70-year-old Latvian State Choir. Gil Shohat
will host a Beethoven marathon at Ein Kerem.
For those weekend stays the
usual ticket package deals include hotel discounts, and further perks are “under
discussion.” Yet another inducement: if you buy more than one ticket, you get 15
percent off on the second.See you at the festival! For more information: