Getting an early start

The Magic of Dance Festival brings an enchanting program of big names to little viewers.

Inbal pinto (photo credit: Eyal Landsman)
Inbal pinto
(photo credit: Eyal Landsman)
At one time, there was a clear divide between dance artists who created for adults and those who created for children. Though each group was valued by its respective audience, they rarely mixed.
Nowadays in Israel, those lines have blurred. In fact, nearly every major dance company, from the Batsheva Dance Company and the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company to the Noa Dar Dance Group, includes a children’s show in its repertoire. Some troupes even perform more times a year for children than they do for adults.
A perfect example of this recent trend will be on display during Succot at the Suzanne Dellal Center.
The annual Magic of Dance Festival will bring big names to little viewers over the Succot weekend.
This year, the festival includes performances by Compas, The Israeli Flamenco Dance Company, the Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack Dance Company, the Batsheva Dance Company and Renana Raz’s Company. In addition to being invited into the theater, young audience members will be welcome to participate in story time and a number of dance workshops.
Together with the Israel National Youth Theater, Compas presents Puss in Boots. An elderly father leaves his belongings to his three children. The youngest receives a cat that has gained magical powers from a pair of old boots. The tale takes place in Spain in the 1700s and is full of flamenco flair.
The performance is open to children from age four.
Following the performance, Compas will host a flamenco workshop for the whole family. Participants will dance alongside the performers of the company and will be treated to a taste of Spanish steps and music.
Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack are masters at sweeping their audience away to different kinds of wonderlands. As parents, Pinto and Pollack are familiar with the interests of small children. In Goldfish, they create an alternate universe full of dynamic movement and gorgeous costumes. This is their first major children’s production, recommended for ages five and up.
Pinto and Pollack will also open the doors of their studio for a one-time movement workshop for both parents and children. The class will be taught by dancers from the company.
The Batsheva Dance Company was one of the first major local companies to appeal to children. With its prize-winning performance Kamuyot, Batsheva opened school doors to the world of dance. This year, artistic director Ohad Naharin presents Decal’e, a combination of excerpts from his rich repertoire. The performance is suggested for children eight years old and up.
For the past two years, Renana Raz has scoured the Internet for videos suited to her performance Youmake, Remake in which dancers reinterpret online clips into live performance. She has successfully put together two full editions of this show.
Now Raz brings Youmake, Remake back for children.
The performance creates an interesting and meaningful bridge between the real world and the many screens children are surrounded by.
Children aged three to nine are sure to enjoy the humor of this show. Raz and her dancers also invite audiences to participate in Boogie Woogie for Kids, a groovy movement workshop for tykes.
Another veteran in the children’s theater field is choreographer Nima Jacoby.
Jacoby’s company, Bama Dance Group, presents The Child Who Turned the World Around. Israel Bright’s original tale is an innovative story about a dressing blunder turned magical experience.
The performance is suitable for ages four to nine.
Throughout the weekend, Florence Fisch-Hacham will host three story-time meetings for children aged two to four.
Fisch-Hacham will bring to life the stories “Shmulik the Porcupine,” “A Tale of Five Balloons” and “Ayeh Pluto,” using props, puppets, music and movement.
The Magic of Dance will take place at the Suzanne Dellal Center from September 21 to 23. For more information, visit