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2006 Israel Festival by: Merav Yudilovitch


The 2006 Israel Festival is scheduled to open on May 23 and will last for three weeks. This year it is expected to host dozens of dance, theatre, and music performances, as well as multi-disciplinary works from 11 countries. 

Special attention will be given to the Indian and French cultures, and a special performance for the 100th death anniversary of Henrik Ibsen. The festival's main venues will be in Jerusalem, but performances are also scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv and Holon.

Sponsored by the French season in Israel "Voila!" the dance venue will host groups and creators from France. The Boeuf Du Nord group of the famous director Peter Brook with play "Sizwe Benzi is dead" which debuted in 1972 and deals with identity loss and the role of theaters during a political, cultural, and social oppression. Another French theatre event is the production of "Nathan the Wise", the classic German play dealing with war of religions. The play was directed by Dominique Lurcel who also stars in the play.

The Dance venue will host two French productions, the "Radiant City", by the Marseilles Ballet and "Inanna" choreographed by Carolyn Carlson, which deals with femininity in the western cultures.

The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra will host a gala for the works of French composer Maurice Ravel, and will play the full version of “Daphnis and Chloe", considered as one of the most important orchestral works of all times.

The Indian culture will also get special attention in the music and dance venues. Among the guests this year are the dancer Priyadarsini Govind, who is considered a leader in traditional Indian dance, accompanied by three musicians and a singer. The Indian flute master Hariprasad Chaurasiaff is back for one performance with the Indian tabla player Vijay Ghate. Their performance will feature also the Israeli musicians Zohar Fresco and Taiseer Elias.

Another Israeli-Indian cooperation is the performance of "Shades of Dedication". The production mixes Sufi music from the Raghastan desert with Hebrew poetry, and is actually a continuation of the debut album of the Israeli musician Shye Ben-Tzur who lives and creates music in India in the past few years.

The Israel Festival will also commemorate the 100th death anniversary of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen on May 23. On that day the Mabou Mines theatre will perform "A Doll's House", directed by Lee Breuer.

The Jazz events in the festival will be dedicated to the saxophone player Arnie Lawrence who passed away last year. Lawrence, whose immense help encouraged the arrivals of many international Jazz artists to Israel, played among other places, in the Jazz Club in the Jerusalem Theatre. The Jazz event will open with a tribute to Jimi Hendrix from the American "World Sax Quartet", which is one of the most innovative improvisation groups.

The Festival will feature children production like "Onionarlic" based on “Knight of Onions and Knight of Garlic” by Haim Nachman Bialik. The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company will perform a new production by Rami Beer the artistic director, dealing with remembrance.
The Israeli Ballet will present the production of "Giselle" and will host soloist dancers from the Bolshoi ballet.

The Israel Festival will also feature a reunion of "Hora Jerusalem," celebrating 45 years of activity in dance, music, and songs.

The classic music this year gets a special emphasis with a long line of guests and unusual events. From England, the vocal ensemble "Tallis Scholars" who specializes in religious renaissance music; from Holland the cello player Pieter Wispelwey; From Germany organ player Matthias Eisenberg will meet the Israeli clarinet player Giora Feidman, and many others.

The 2006 Israel Festival will conclude with of the performance of the poetic traditional Jewish songs concert "Old friend, have you forgotten?" with many contemporary Israeli artist.

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