Site-specific entertainment

From cafes and classrooms to citybuses and town squares, the Talooy Bamakom Festival is an artistic free-for-all.

HOMONOCLES 370 (photo credit: Amichai Bikovsky)
(photo credit: Amichai Bikovsky)
Tel Aviv is a city of nooks and crannies, of hidden passageways and mysterious courtyards waiting to be discovered. It is also a city of vibrant cultural endeavors. Be it dance, theater, art or music, Tel Aviv is virtually bubbling over with things to see and enjoy. In the coming months, a long list of festivals and performances will sweep through the city. From Hot Dance to the Israel Festival to Fresh Paint, locals and tourists alike will be treated to the best of Israel’s artistic community.
One of the newest events on the scene this summer will be the Talooy Bamakom Festival. It is part of the Tel Aviv Art Year, supported by the Tel Aviv Municipality.
In recent years, many reputable artists have transferred their work from the stage to the street. Dancers can be found in elevators, constructions sites and on the tops of building. The site-specific movement affords the audience an intensely experiential vantage point. Often viewers are encouraged to roam through site-specific performances, creating a sort of installation or museum feel. Recently, British company Punch Drunk sent tidal waves through New York with their production Sleep No More.
Now in its second year, the Talooy Bamakom Festival offers an alternative performance space to local artists. “It is no secret that there is a lack of performance arenas in Tel Aviv,” says co-founder Lihi Beckerman.
Unlike most festivals, Talooy Bamakom has no particular base. It is a nomadic event that takes participants and audiences on a type of scavenger hunt through the street. Storefronts, public buses and coffee shops will be transformed into theaters during this three-day sitespecific bash.
Together with Nataly Zuckerman, Beckerman initiated this happening to change the rules of the game when it came to performance. All the events of the festival are free and open to all audiences. Events will take place throughout the weekend in broad daylight, as well as after dark.
A perfect example of the benefits of a site-specific environment is the presentation of Miss Sigalit’s Way. In this one-woman show by Roberto Athayde, audiences are transported back to their school days. Seated at desks in neat rows, viewers can take in the hilarious antics of their teacher for the days. The play will be performed in a classroom in the Bialik Rogozin School.
Just back from a tour in Germany, Inbal Oshman will present her work Fitting Room in Habimah Square. Oshman’s piece is a trio for two dancers and a tailor. Set to the sounds of an overworked sewing machine, Fitting Room offers an intimate peek at the lives of two partners.
A well-known fact about dancers and actors is that many have experience in the restaurant industry. Thus for the performers of Shaken, which will take place in the Alexandria Café on Yehuda Halevi Street, the setting may feel a bit like home. In Shaken, two former lovers, played by Nimrod Ronen and Livnat Samara, reconnect in the coffee shop where they first fell in love. The encounter floods the two with memories, both good and bad.
As the Tel Aviv Municipality hosts Talooy Bamakom, it is only fitting that an event be held at the Municipality building in Rabin Square. Q is an installation piece that includes audience participation. Q is also an opportunity to enjoy a setting that is usually visited to pay bills and wait in line.
Other highlights of the festival are Ella Rothschild and Omer Sheizaf’s window display performance on Nahmani Street and Erez Dascal and The Most Likely’s music performance on a city bus.

Talooy Bamakom will take place from May 17-19. For more information, visit vents