Dame Kiri Te Kanawa 521.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israel Festival always finds a reason to celebrate, and that’s its joy. It’s
our window on the world of the performing arts that opens not only to great
performers and performances from abroad but also frames some of the best we’re
This year the festival celebrates not only its 50th
birthday but also the centennial of Teddy Kollek’s birth, the return of a great
diva and a dance legend, and no less than 12 Israeli premieres.
place between May 23 and June 18 mostly in and around the Jerusalem Theater
complex, but also in Holon, Dimona and other places around the
Let’s begin at home, noting that Ohad Naharin, whose amazing
Anaphase exploded on stage at the 1992 Israel Festival, returns for this one
with his Batsheva Dance Company and Fields – a temporary title.
avant-garde visual theater Clipa is another festifavorite and brings Mitzpe
(Observation Point) to the 50th, together with more premieres from a group of
cutting-edge Israeli artists, such as Ruth Kanner. Her piece is called Flight of
The Kollek centennial will be a huge musical concert at
Sacher Park, and composer pianist Gil Shohat presides over a tribute to Gustav
Mahler at Ein Kerem.
The diva is legendary soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,
whose concert June 4 at Binyenei Ha’uma is one of the festival’s hottest
tickets, while modern dance fans will rush to see Merce Cunningham’s company in
Split Sides, Soundance and Events because the company disbands forever on
Cunningham, still dancing at the time, came to the festival
in 1991. He was then 72. He died in 2009.
Other good bets Choreographer
Tim Rushton has been artistic director of the Danish Dance Theater since 1991.
DDT brings two of his programs, the world premiere of Love Songs that features
singer Caroline Henderson and a jazz trio, and a repertoire evening – Kridt
(chalk), Cadance and Enigma.
Chile is sending Teatro-Cinema de Chile, a
groundbreaking visual theater company that combines live action and film. It’s
bringing Sin Sangre (Without Blood), a story of love, murder and revenge.
There’s a kiddie show too, The Man Who Fed Butterflies, for the
And if theater, then two great classics: Hamlet – two and a
half nonstop breathless hours from Berlin’s Schaubühne, and Uncle Vanya from
Moscow’s Vakhtangov Theater starring Russian movie idol Sergei Makovetsky in the
title role. We’re told there may be English as well as Hebrew
In classical music, the Florilegium early music consort
enchanted audiences in 2004. This year they’re back playing music by Bach,
Vivaldi, Pergolesi and Purcell. The Baroque is represented by Finnish
harpsichord virtuoso Aapo Häkkinen and his Helsinki Baroque – Bach’s in this
Finally, East meets West in Out of Egypt – From Slavery to
Freedom in a musical encounter between Handel’s oratorio and two pieces by
oudist Yair Dallal.
Free events have yet to be decided.The
website www.israel-festival.org.il will carry details closer to the time.