Arts in Brief - June 21

Jethro Tull returns for three shows; Batsheva Dance heads south; Building musical bridges in J’lem.

The Batsheva Dance Company's Bill 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
The Batsheva Dance Company's Bill 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Jethro Tull returns for three shows
Perennial visitors Jethro Tull will be returning to Israel in August for three shows. The veteran British band, led by ageless singer/flautist/guitarist Ian Anderson, will be performing on August 7 at the Caesaeara Amphitheater, the 8th at the Shoni Fortress in Binyamina and the 9th at the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyanei Hauma), marking the third time the band has included Israel on its tour in the last few years.
Tull puts on a highly professional, entertaining show, concentrating on material from classic 1970s albums Aqualung and Thick as a Brick, but including surprises from all phases of its respectable career. The ever playful, bandana-clad Anderson still makes for a riveting centerpiece, full of verbal quips, musical trills and vocal mastery. And guitarist Martin Barre, looking like an elfin grandfather, can still blast a solo with the best of ’em. If you haven’t caught Tull on one of its previous visits, don’t miss this one. • David Brinn
Batsheva Dance heads south
The Batsheva Dance company, with the help of a grant from IDB Cellcom, heads south with Ohad Naharin’s DecaDance for performances at Dimona (26/6), the Beersheva Performing Arts Center (5/7) and Yerucham (8/7).
In area schools, including those of Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim, the company will present Naharin's Kamuyot.
Additionally, over the next school year, Sha’ar Hanegev youth dance groups will receive training in Naharin’s movement language, Gaga, and learn excerpts from the BD repertoire.
Tickets to BD’s performances are only NS 25, less than the cost of a movie ticket, and the project overall is part of IDB’s ongoing community activity, in this case (among the rest), bringing dance to audiences unfamiliar with dance in general. • Helen Kaye
Building musical bridges in J’lem
“They” can’t cross to our side and “we” can’t cross to theirs. Those are the realities within which the chamber music festival Sounding Jerusalem 2010, taking place June 27 to July 11, offers 17 concerts, to be played all over Jerusalem, east and west, and in its environs, including Hebron and Abu Ghosh.
This year there’s cultural cross-breeding as western and eastern music are presented side by side and together.
The opening concert at the Austrian Hospice in the Old City provides a taste of things to come with works by Kodaly, Zur and an “oriental mélange” billed as a sound parade through the four quarters of the Old City.
Another concert features an encounter between Bach and the melodies of nomadic shepherds, and so it’ll go with a big musical party in the courtyard of the Church of the Redeemer on July 11.
Among those making their festival debuts are Australian cellist Pei-Jee Ng, Italy’s Gianluca Capuano, who is a virtuoso player on both organ and harpsichord, the Voce quartet and Guadalupe-born soprano Magali Leger, both from France, and the Raro string trio.
Artists who have appeared at previous festivals include clarinetist Michel Lethiec, pianist Paul Gulda, and his fellow Austrian, cellist Erich Oskar Huetter, who is the festival’s organizer and artistic director.
The festival, Huetter says, aims to build bridges between us, “to bring chamber music… as an expression of dialogue… a way of listening to the other and to respond through the emotions, a dialogue without words, a dialogue that is basic and above all human. "We feel a true sense of mission.”
To avoid any hint of politicization the festival is solely funded by states of the EU, with the lion’s share of the €175,000 budget provided by Germany (€50,000) and Austria (€30,000). Admission to all the concerts is free. Six of them take place in the Old City. The rest are divided between “our” side and “theirs.” A pity, but there it is. • Helen Kaye