5th annual Hullegeb Festival celebrates Ethiopian culture

A festival reflecting the depth and variety of Ethiopian culture is expected to take place December 4-11 in Jerusalem.

By JESSICA VRAZILEK
November 26, 2014 22:08
1 minute read.
Ethiopian-Israeli Hullegeb Theater’s latest work, ‘Seychelles.’

Ethiopian-Israeli Hullegeb Theater’s latest work, ‘Seychelles.’. (photo credit: MOSHE MALCHA)

In the language of Amharic, “hullegeb” means “open to everyone.” That is the idea behind the fifth annual Hullegeb Israeli- Ethiopian Arts Festival, which will take place in Jerusalem next month.

The week-long festival will consist of seven performances of theater, dance and music, each bringing something different to the stage, including a play performed by The Hullegeb Israeli-Ethiopian Theater, the festival’s main event.

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The festival was founded as an initiative of the Confederation House’s artistic director Effie Benaya with support from the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, and reflects the depth and variety of Ethiopian culture – from traditional to contemporary, and its dialogue with the surrounding Israeli culture.

Opening the festival is a special performance by legendary Ethio-jazz singer Alemayehu Eshete. Known as the Ethiopian James Brown, Eshete was one of the prime movers in Addis Ababa’s thriving 1960s music scene. The concert features a guest appearance by vocalist Ayala Ingedashet.

Other festival highlights include the Aksum duo in a performance combining Jamaican reggae and Ethiopian music; the Ethiopian- Israeli Hullegeb Theater in the drama Seychelles; and Beita Ensemble’s Hahoo, a dance work inspired by the letters of the Amharic alphabet. The festival will close with a performance by The Addis Acoustic Project, the African version of Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club.

The Hullegeb Festival takes place December 4-11 in Jerusalem. For more information: www.confederationhouse.org, www.bimot.co.il


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