Reaping the benefits

The New Harvest Festival in Yavne offers a bounty of theater, dance, music, literature and art events.

'Gush Lech' 521 (photo credit: Ran Biran)
'Gush Lech' 521
(photo credit: Ran Biran)
The holidays are a time for families to spend together. With long days off from school, full bellies from delicious meals and hours of leisure time, holidays present the perfect opportunity to expand our artistic and cultural horizons. This year, for the first time ever, the municipality of Yavne decided to bring the stage home. The New Harvest Festival will take place during Succot and will present theater, dance, music, literature and art to the communities in and around Yavne.
The festival is truly extensive, with more than 20 performances on stage and in the street. Offering an opportunity to enjoy the last few days of summery weather, several of the events will take place outside during the day and in the evening.
In addition, many of the performances are free of charge and suitable for the entire family.
Here are a few must-see events in this year’s lineup:
‘The Dance Instructor’ by Yoav Bartel. This one-man show, written and performed by Bartel, is an intimate look into a very complex character named Eitan Harari. In this beautifully written play, Bartel touches on politics, personal dreams and social systems. Though the piece is billed as a comedy, don’t be surprised to find a tear escaping from your eye.
Bartel premiered the piece in mid- 2010 and has since presented it around the country numerous times.
Monti Fiori. By the looks of them, you’d think that the five members of Monti Fiori were characters from a 1950s Italian film.
It’s almost impossible to believe that the band is Israeli. Singing in Italian, English and Hebrew, Itamar Finzi is the picture of youthful nostalgia.
Evoking a time he never experienced, he draws the audience into a blissful rhythm, one that transports them to a smoky Venetian nightclub where they are dancing like maniacs and concurrently gives the impression that they have just stumbled upon the next big thing.
‘Babel’ by the Kolben Dance Company. In his newest eveninglength work, Jerusalem-based choreographer Amir Kolben retells the story of the Tower of Babel through movement. Pointing at our inability to communicate, this piece is physical, emotional and dynamic.
Incorporating music, sets and video art, this work is visually and intellectually stimulating.
How To Write Witches in Hebrew. This is a literary meeting between Galit Dahan-Carlibach and Nurit Zarchi. The two will hold an open discussion about their trials and tribulations as two of the most successful female writers in Israel.
Both writers have dealt with themes concerning magic and fantasy, which will most definitely be main topics in this charged and inspired meeting of minds.
‘The Sofa.’ In the courtyard of the Performing Arts Center sits a sofa.
On this sofa sits a man who does not move. Both apart from and part of the structure, Yuval Cohen is entrancing to watch in his performance art piece. Designed by visual artist Amelia Cohen, this work is worth stopping for a few minutes on your way to other performances.
‘The Way of Sigalit the Teacher.’ This is a site-specific theater performance that invites audience members to take part in a classroom situation. Written by Brazilian novelist Roberto Ateida, this piece tests the boundaries between control and submission. For most audience members, this play will evoke memories from those loud days in school when the teacher lost control of the class.
The New Harvest Festival will take place from October 16-18. Many of the festival’s events will take place outdoors and are free of charge. For more information, visit