(photo credit: )
If you fancy some Far Eastern delights, and haven't quite got the wherewithal or the time to hop on a plane to India, fear not - India is coming to you. Between August 19 and 23 the Israel Museum in Ramat Aviv will keep thousands of kids and parents gainfully employed with all manner of activities and entertainment from the Indian subcontinent.
The From India with Love Festival is being held to mark the 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Israel and India, and is being sponsored by the Indian Embassy.
The two major items on the entertainment bill are dancer Kavita Dwibedi and sitar master Purbayan Chatterjee, both world renowned in their field. Dwibedi will take center stage in her show, which is based on the classical Odissi Indian dance format, a style which came to global notice around 50 years ago but has its origins in the second century BCE. The art form originates from the Indian state of Orissa and is featured in various forms of artwork, for example in dance sculptures and reliefs on temples at Bhubaneshwar. The Odissi dance style incorporates traditions of devadasi and the gotipua - respectively, male and female dance forms. Some of the Odissi moves were inspired by sculptures at temples around India, such as the Sun Temple at Konarak. Dwibedi will perform at the Israel Museum on August 17 at 9:30 p.m., on August 18 at 9 p.m., and on August 20 at 9 p.m. Dwibedi and her troupe will also perform at Meditech Auditorium in Holon at 7 p.m. on August 21.
Playing the sitar since he was five, Purbayan Chatterjee is today considered one of the world's best sitar players. He has been a regular participant in festivals around the world and is a recipient of the Best Musician Prize awarded by the President of India, the highest honor an artist can receive in India.
And there is plenty on offer at the festival for youngsters and grown ups alike, besides the music and dance entertainment. There will be a variety of morning workshops in subjects like puppet theater and storytelling as well as guided tours.
The Indian movie industry - Bollywood as it is popularly known - cranks out literally thousands of films a year. Thus, the screening of Indian movies at the cinematheques of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, while the festival is in progress, is but a natural addendum and should raise the visual excitement level even further.
For more information about the festival, call (03) 744-2222.