Tziporela spreads its wings

Successful indie theater group from Israel adapts award-winning formula to present a more international show, which will feature at "Energies from Tel Aviv" festival in Milan.

Tziporela members Dana Ivgi  and Ben Perry perform (photo credit: Courtesy)
Tziporela members Dana Ivgi and Ben Perry perform
(photo credit: Courtesy)
With eight years of sold-out performances under their belt in Israel, it was only a matter of time until the members of the quirky performance troupe Tziporela decided to take their own unique brand of entertainment worldwide.
The latest show, , is a mix of the award-winning ensemble's signature sketches catered not just for the Israeli market, but for international audiences as well.
Tziporela is made up of nine young performers who met twelve years ago at the renowned Nissan Nativ Acting Studio. As well as performing in their own shows, the enthusiastic entertainers write, direct and choreograph their successful productions, which have been entertaining local audiences for years.
Ensemble member Lotus Etrog spoke to The Jerusalem Post about the troupe's success as well as the inspiration behind the new show.
"During our years in acting school we always got together and did other projects outside of the regular curriculum and we always tried to do things our own way," explains Etrog. According to her, the nine performers always knew they would work together. When they graduated they decided to create their own material, which was the inspiration behind their first show.
Over the years, Tziporela has built up a cult-like following of fans who enjoy the indie troupe's unique way of poking fun at everyday life using as many forms of performance as possible.
The story behind their latest show started a year and a half ago, explains Etrog, when the group was rehearsing for one of their regular shows and thought about taking it abroad. "After we did the premier we went to Melbourne by request of the Jewish Agency who invited us to perform an English-speaking show in front of a thousand people," she says. "We tried to translate it to English but it didn't quite work." This is when the idea came to them that they would have to adapt their show so that people outside of Israel could enjoy it.
After the positive reactions from Melbourne, the troupe members were confident that they could put together a show that would have a more international appeal. When they arrived back in Israel in October they started working on the worldwide show. "We took English lessons and various other workshops in order to prepare for it," Etrog explains.
Tziporela Worldwide is made up of sketches featuring Tziporela's signature mix of dance, comedy, acting, singing, miming and various other forms of performance. What makes Tziporela Worldwide different is the inclusion of sketches that deal with Hebrew and Israeli culture from an outsiders point of view.
With jokes about translating from Hebrew to English as well as a hilarious sketch about airport security, Anglos and English speakers familiar with Israel can appreciate some insider jokes. These sketches poking fun at Israeli culture got some of the biggest laughs during a recent performance in Tel Aviv.
That said, there are many scenes of slapstick fun and clever comedy that appeal to an international audience. Although the troupe has a very Israeli character about it, many of Tziporela's sketches contain just mime or dance, thus transcending cultural boundaries. "What makes the show appealing is the use of a lot of physical humor, which means that people who don't speak Hebrew can still enjoy it," says Etrog.

Tziporela Worldwide has been performed in Tel Aviv, receiving positive reactions from audiences. With Tel Aviv being the cosmopolitan city that it is, people from places such as Singapore, Paris, UK and the US have enjoyed the show. "They really get it and they love it. They get the humor," Etrog explains."It's a great opportunity for tourists and Anglos."
The show will be making its international debut in Milian at the "Energies from Tel Aviv" festival, which will take place from October 10 to October 17 at the Franco Parenti Theater.
Gianni Morelenbaum Gualberto, the festival's artistic director, read about Tziporela in Time Out Tel Aviv and was impressed with what he saw, explains Etrog. "He looked up our YouTube channel and he said he wanted us to perform," she explains.