Expanding the horizon

Mahol Shalem brings local children’s shows into the global spotlight.

March 22, 2015 15:23
3 minute read.
Mahol Shalem

Mahol Shalem. (photo credit: PR)


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A major component of an Israeli dance company’s life is international touring. Living in such a small country, there is a limit to the number of local performances that troupes, even the most successful ones, can fill. The out-of-Israel market has become an invaluable resource for dancers and choreographers, allowing them to reach out to broader audience bases and to see the world.

Another main element is children’s shows. Though perhaps less glamorous than the evening concert, the morning show is an essential part of any company’s calendar, exposing young people around the country to high-quality dance. Every dance company in Israel has at least one children’s show in its repertoire, and often these are the shows that are performed most.

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Until now, these two pieces of the puzzle – international touring and children’s shows – had never coincided. Early next week, the Machol Shalem Dance House will host the first International Exposure Festival for Children’s and Youth Performances. The goal of the festival is to bring the excellent Israeli children’s shows into the international spotlight.

Over the course of four days, dozens of festival organizers and theater directors will be ferried around Jerusalem to see the best and brightest new creations for youngsters. These shows will be open to audiences with subsidized ticket prices.

Panel discussions will also be held on the subject of content for and approach to young audiences. The events will take place in a number of locations throughout Jerusalem, such as the Gerard Behar Center, Beit Shmuel and the Israel Museum.

Of the out-of-towners to attend are Dutch programmers Erik Couvee and Erga Netz; Romano Bogdan from Croatia; American presenter Casey Lee; and Dagmar Roubilova of the Czech Republic.

The event will kick off on Saturday evening with a performance of Dina Telem’s Hide and Seek 3-4. Telem’s production, for ages six to 12, is one of the more established children’s shows in Israel. Later that night, Kolben Dance Company will present On the Edge, a performance for ages 14 and up.

Sunday morning will see guests making their way to the Israel Museum for a performance of Einat Yaniv-Estlein’s Chew. The show deals with eating disorders, an issue that many boys and girls deal with at some point. Yaniv-Estlein’s dance theater blend brings this difficult topic to the stage with great sensitivity. The show will be followed by a panel discussion led by Amir Kolben.

Sunday’s program includes the Jerusalem premieres of Maya Levy’s Stain Crown Ketchup-Love; Guy Gutman’s Non Troppo or the School of Weathers; and Sharona Florsheim’s The End of Noa’s Infinity. Levy’s show is for ages four to eight, while Gutman’s and Florsheim’s are for ages six to 10. All three shows were created as part of the Israel State Lottery’s Apim 2 project. Levy, Gutman and Florsheim were chosen out of dozens of applications.

On Monday morning, Nadine Bommer’s Animato Dance Company will perform Shorties for ages nine and up, followed by Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack’s critically acclaimed Goldfish, a performance for all ages.

The final day of the festival will feature performances of Oded Zadok and Clipa Theater’s Enchanted Forest Stories for ages three to seven; Ananotza by Noa Dar for ages five to 10; and Small Shakatak for the whole family.

The International Exposure Festival for Children’s and Youth Performances is the newest of the Machol Shalem Dance House’s initiatives. Established 12 years ago by directors Ofra Idel and Ruby Edelman, MSDH has helped to create a fertile ground for dance artists in Jerusalem.

Beyond this festival, MSDH hosts several annual events including performances and workshops, as well as an international choreography competition.

The International Exposure Festival for Children’s and Youth Performances will take place on March 21, 22, 23 and 24. For more information, visit www.macholshalem.org.il.

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