1) SMALL MAN’S BATTLE
In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished.
He asks his old army buddy (a lawyer) to help, but the man’s arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family. The dramatic film Leviathan is the story of one man’s struggle against the big machine of power and corruption. Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev.
2) CLASSICS IN MANDOLIN
Conductor Frédéric Chaslin and mandolinist Alon Sariel perform with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra as part of the Classical Concerts series. The program includes Milhaud’s La création du monde; Gilad Hochman’s Nedudim (Wanderings), Fantasia Concertante for Mandolin and String Orchestra (Israeli premiere); and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4.
Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Jerusalem Theatre, 20 Marcus St. For tickets, call (02) 560-5755.
3) SHOHAT SYMPHONY PREMIERE Gil Shohat’s Ninth Symphony was written 14 years ago when he was living in Paris.
It is his only composition that he has not performed before. Written out of an irrepressible need, it culminates a period of many years of Shohat’s composing symphonies, concertos and other works. The one-and-a-halfhour symphony consists of six movements. The world premiere will be performed by the Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra.
Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd. For tickets, call *9066 or (03) 681-0111.
4) STAR-CROSSED LOVERS
For the first time in Israel, the Israeli Opera will present La Rondine, Puccini’s touching love story about a boy (Ruggero) and a girl (Magda) who fall in love but are not able live happily ever after. Replete with moving arias, a large choir scene (the Israeli Opera Chorus) and stirring music.
With conductors Frédéric Chaslin and Ethan Schmeisser, director Nicolas Joel and the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion. Sung in Italian with Hebrew and English surtitles.
Premiere performance on Friday at 1 p.m.
at the Israeli Opera, 19 Shaul Hamelech Blvd., Tel Aviv. For tickets, more dates and information, call (03) 692-7777.
5) DESERT FREEDOM
While Tamir Gintz’s works have dealt mostly with what occurs indoors, this time he has chosen to step outside to the desert, with its physical and human landscape as a source of inspiration. In the vast expanse of the desert, laws are free of urban conventions.
Bamidbar Dvarim is a compelling work performed by the Kamea Dance Company, with passion for savagery and wilderness, unrestrained whims, relations between the individual and society, ritual ceremonies and intimacy.
Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Ness Ziona Cultural Center. For tickets, call (08) 930-4020.
6) SALOME’S VICES
Italian artist Edgardo Sambo depicts the decadence that characterized the Roaring Twenties in northern Italy with his painting Salome.
In the work, Salome is presented as a classic femme fatale of Western culture, with her stylish bob, snakelike movement and provocative nudity. The painting transports the viewer beyond its biblical origins to the lifestyle of an Italian social class that considered itself above moral norms and taboos.
Wednesday at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Open during museum hours. For more information: (02) 670-8935.
7) NATURAL MAN
The exhibition “We Were Here” by Rafael Salem displays a gallery of paintings that yearn for faraway, almost fictitious, places.
The wild landscapes and naïve adolescents create an organic unit that focuses on the relationship between man and nature. The presence of the characters in the face of the wonder of nature emphasizes their beauty yet hints at their vulnerability. With curator Gal Cohen and Talia Arendt.Gallery opens Thursday at the Jaffa Salon of Art, 2 Mahsan St., Jaffa Port. For more information, call 050-205-6312; 054-318-3540.
8) THE MYSTERY OF DJANGO
Django is a composition written by John Lewis and Milt Jackson of the Modern Jazz Quartet in tribute to great Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. In an exciting musical journey, a pair of detectives investigates the mystery of the composition. US vibraphonist Warren Wolf and pianist Aaron Diehl help solve it through their playing: How classical music turns to jazz, the role of arrangement, the respect and fondness jazz holds for the likes of Bach and Reinhardt.
Hosted by Dana Dvorin.
Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd. For tickets, call (03) 607-7020.
9) THE WOMEN BEHIND THE CHEFS
The 10-day Chef, Eat Festival returns for a warm winter event of flavors and aromas from mother’s kitchen. At the biggest restaurant festival in Israel, restaurants will offer an appetizer, main dish and dessert for NIS 89. Behind every successful chef is a mother who shared her kitchen secrets with her son – the little tricks, the special dishes, the intoxicating aromas and unique flavors that helped shape his world as an adult chef.
Until January 20 at restaurants throughout the country. For locations, menus and more information: http://chef-tochal.walla.co.il/; 077-560-0978.
10) HOT NEGEV WINTER
A weekend in the Negev filled with cultural events, attractions, tours and festivals for the whole family. Hundreds of diverse performances with some of the best artists Israel has to offer. At the same time, national parks and nature reserves will be open free of charge and will host guided tours and various activities such as exploring Beduin life, riding camels, home hospitality and an exciting circus.
Thursday through Saturday. For more information: www.davkaisrael.co.il;(08) 627-7325.