7th annual Hullegeb Festival celebrates Ethiopian culture

The week-long festival will consist of seven performances of theater, dance and music, each bringing something different to the stage.

December 7, 2016 20:56
1 minute read.

ETHIOPIAN VOCALIST Aster Aweke.. (photo credit: BIRHAN)


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In the language of Amharic, “hullegeb” means “open to everyone.” That is the idea behind the seventh annual Hullegeb Israeli-Ethiopian Arts Festival, which will take place in Jerusalem December 15-21.

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 veteran Ethiopian vocalist Aster Aweke, who will perform at the Jerusalem Theater (9 p.m.). Known as the “Aretha Franklin of Ethiopia,” Aweke has released a total of 23 albums and has shared the stage with renowned singers and performers, including Hugh Masekela, Maria Makeba and Bradford Marsalis. There will also be a performance by the Israeli-Ethiopian musical ensemble Tezeta. Under the direction of Abate Berihun, Tezeta draws upon a core of traditional Ethiopian music with ancient and unique Ethiopian instruments. The concert features a guest appearance by legendary Israeli musician Shlomo Gronich.

Other festival highlights include the Ethiopian-Israeli Hullegeb Theater in the drama Refugees; The Beta Dance Troupe together with choreographer Dege Feder presents Amedja; soloist Aveva Dese and her ensemble present a sensuous Afro-soul performance in English and Amharic that deals mainly with the theme of freedom.

For more information and tickets: www.confederationhouse.org, www.bimot.co.il

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