Grapevine: Art, entertainment and musubi

Most embassies, in addition to their efforts to enhance bilateral relations in many fields, work hard at promoting the culture of their respective countries.

Tanya Beardsley dances Zumba in Jerusalem 370 (photo credit: iTRAVELJERUSALEM)
Tanya Beardsley dances Zumba in Jerusalem 370
(photo credit: iTRAVELJERUSALEM)

MOST EMBASSIES, in addition to their efforts to enhance bilateral relations in many fields, work hard at promoting the culture of their respective countries. Japan’s embassy stands out in this regard, regularly hosting Friday cultural events, including lectures, concerts, exhibitions and demonstrations, in its premises on the 19th floor of the Museum Tower at 4 Berkowitz Street, Tel Aviv. Today at 11 a.m., Miho Kataoka-Erlich, author of the recent Steimatzky-published book Japanese Hands Japanese Heart, will lecture on musubi, which is the Japanese word for “concept.” It also means a connection or knot between kami (god) and human being, between humans, between life companions and between ancestors and descendants. Musubi in Japanese also means ending, creation and more. Musubi is an important concept in daily life in Japan, in food, clothing, architecture and design, tea ceremonies, poetry, social life and traditional events. Kataoka will present an overview of the concept of musubi in Japanese traditional culture, customs and mythology. She will also demonstrate how to make some Japanese traditional handcrafts, and explain their importance in the society of Japan. Kataoka, a Japanese ceramics artist, choreographer and performer of classical Indian dances, grew up in Kyoto. She works at Bar-Ilan University as a lecturer on the Japanese language.

WRITER, LECTURER and radio personality Yochi Brandeis has amassed a huge following over the years, and her books have sold like hot cakes. In recognition of her contribution to both the written and the spoken word, Brandeis will be feted with a special tribute in her honor today at noon at Holon Mediatheque. Participants will include Education Minister Shai Piron.
LOVERS OF poetry, particularly poetry in English, should mark Wednesday, January 22 in their calendars for the Voices Israel poetry reading and prize distribution.
This competition is held annually in memory of Voices founder Reuben Rose. This year, there will be an open mike following the competition for winners and any other poets who wish to do so to read their poetry aloud for the benefit of all those attending. President Wendy Blumfield is hopeful that the open mike will attract poets whose voices have not yet been heard by Voices Israel. The event will be held at Bikurei Ha’itim Center, 6 Haftman Street, Tel Aviv.
INCONGRUOUS THOUGH it may seem, one can have fun while fighting cancer. It’s all part of the international Party in Pink craze, in which zumba enthusiasts get together to dance the night away and get rid of unwanted calories in the process. Israel’s Party in Pink coordinator Stacy Zimmerman Shani reports that the January 25 Party in Pink at Oranim Sports Center in Ramat Hasharon is already sold out, and the proceeds will go to cancer research.
READERS DIGEST for decades featured a column under the heading “Laughter is the Best Medicine.”
Indeed, the training of hospital clowns who bring laughter into the lives of junior patients attests to the importance of laughter in the healing process.
The principle doesn’t apply to children alone, nor is its efficacy limited to the physically ill, but also to people with emotional problems of all types and degrees. Or put simply, everyone needs a little laughter in their lives.
Actor-comedian Nati Ravitz will be running a workshop on how to creatively bring laughter and joy into people’s lives and how humor enables people to confront and overcome vicissitudes. The workshop will be held next Friday, January 24, at Alhambra Theater, 39 Jerusalem Boulevard, Jaffa, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is NIS 120. Advance registration is required. To register and for further details, call Vered Ela at 050-765-6007.
IT DOESN’T make quite as big a splash as pop-song talent quests on television, but the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Competition that is held in Tel Aviv every three years has much more far-reaching results, and every finalist, whether a winner or not, will attract attention in the classical music world, simply by dint of being a finalist in so prestigious a contest. Of 156 applicants from around the world, only 39, including one Israeli, have been selected for the finals that will take place for the 14th time from May 13 to 29, with the opening concert at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Pianists in the opening concert will include: Daniil Trifanov, who won first prize at the 13th Rubinstein competition, Roman Rabinovich, second prize winner at the 12th Rubinstein competition and David Fung, fourth prize winner at the 12th Rubinstein competition.
Ticket sales commence next week.