Yes Planet parking lot to host Israel Festival musical dance event

In mid-June, "Public Parking" will be performed in the Yes Planet parking lot in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. The evening is part of the Israel Festival program.

PUBLIC PARKING (photo credit: YOANA BLICKMAN)
PUBLIC PARKING
(photo credit: YOANA BLICKMAN)
The Israeli reality is fast-moving. The news cycle jumps from one event to another at a dizzying rate, public spaces go from peaceful to overrun in the blink of an eye, and our perception of our environment can often feel as volatile as the political situation. Over the past several weeks, a desirable home became synonymous with an in-house safe room, and public shelters went from deserted to filled-to-capacity.
“It’s strange how, since I had this idea, the parking lot has changed its face,” choreographer, educator and performer Neta Pulvermacher told The Jerusalem Post.

In mid-June, Public Parking will be performed in the Yes Planet parking lot in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. The evening is part of the Israel Festival program. It includes works by eight choreographers and will be performed by musicians and singers from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the 11 dancers from the JAMD Dance Ensemble.
 
“At first, the idea was to perform without harming the audience or the dancers because of corona. We thought it would be a drive-in but realized quickly that it would be dangerous for the dancers to perform with the cars on due to the fumes. And then, with everything that has happened these last weeks, the parking lot became a shelter,” she explained.
 
The specific parking lot in which the show will take place lies in an area bordering Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. 
 
“Yes Planet is exactly on the seam,” said Pulvermacher, adding that the past few weeks have emphasized how deeply charged the area is. “Everything has become political these last two weeks. Some of the artists are Palestinian and it has been complicated managing to continue to work throughout all that has happened. But I feel that the event is so necessary, the stars will align for it to happen.”
 
To join her on the journey, Pulvermacher reached out to choreographers Noam Fruchtlander Caspi, Roy Assaf, Sofia Krantz, Itzik Galili, Mor Shani, Rand Taha and Alma Livne to create works that would not only relate to the parking lot but to the personalities of the performers, the city, the country and humanity.
 
“I ask the choreographers to look at these people they were working with, to really see who they are. The evening is a reflection of that. It’s an evening in which you get to know the people more and more. It isn’t only site-specific, it is time-specific and city-specific.”
This collection of artists represents different stages in life and in professional standing. They were chosen by Pulvermacher to challenge, inspire and contribute to the journey of the young dancers of the JAMD Dance Ensemble. There are veteran choreographers alongside new voices.
 
“It’s anti-hierarchical to present them this way. In this one evening there are choreographers of different generations. Maybe the audience will be able to see that but maybe not.”
 
When audience members arrive at the site, they will be ushered in their cars to Level minus 2. From there, they will leave their cars and walk one level further down, where the performance will already be in motion. 
 
“It isn’t a recital. It is an event and the sections are interwoven. The idea was to place different narratives one alongside the other without deciding which narrative is the dominant one. The dancers, singers and musicians are characters in this space,” said Pulvermacher.
 
Though editing was a challenging aspect of putting the evening together, Pulvermacher is thrilled with the outcome. 
“I believe it will permeate the skin. It is so alive, so human. It speaks about society, community, about humans waiting for the situation to change.”
 
Hence the name Public Parking. 
 
“There’s the public and there’s the parking. This last year, we have put ourselves on hold. We have been in collective parking.”
 
Public Parking will be performed June 14-16. For more information, visit www.israel-festival.org.