The 54th Israel Festival Has Begun!

Last night saw the opening of the 54th annual Israel Festival in Jerusalem with Shalom Hanoch hosting leading Israeli performers like Danny Sanderson, Yehuda Poliker and Berry Sakharof. The theme of this year’s festival is interdisciplinary performing arts.

Shalom Hanoch

The festival aims to present audiences with non-commercial performances which are the cutting edge and the latest creations in the performance world. Among the unique venues there will be the Sultan’s Pool, the Israel Museum, the First Station, the Jerusalem Theatre, Machon Hartman, venues in Ein Kerem, the International Convention Center and the Gerard Behar Center.

The line-up for the festival includes many European performers as well as local talent. Among the 12 visiting performers there are productions from Finland, France, China, Romania and the Czech Republic. Among the much anticipated performances there will be She She Pop’s, a post-dramatic (PDT) production from Germany which is based on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. From Italy’s Romeo Castellucci comes Julius Caesar, Spare Parts, a new look at the Shakespearean classic which will be performed at the Jerusalem YMCA. Elementary Particles is a multi-disciplinary piece about the psycho-sexual complexities of the modern generation. The performance is four hours long and follows the experiences of two brothers. Mystery Magnet is the Belgian contribution to the festival presented by creator Miet Warlop and company. Another guest from abroad will be French dancer/choreographer Xavier le Roy performing a solo piece, Unfinished Self. Another dance performance is Snakeskin by Canadian dancer Benoit la Chambre. Famed American choreographer, Trisha Brown will also take part in the festival.

Israel Festival

Among the Israeli contributions is prize winning director Eyal Weiser’s drama How Is the Beast. At the Jerusalem Khan Theatre audiences can see Kineret Kineret, based on Nathan Alterman’s play. The Vertigo Dance Company will be performing their acclaimed piece Prades and Changes. The festival will present the premiere performance of Badad, a musical based on the life and music of Israeli legend Zohar Argov. The musical will be performed in the magical surroundings of the Tower of David. One of the most popular events of the festival which will be returning for the 10th consecutive year is a marathon of Tchaikovsky music. The Israel Festival will also present performances geared towards younger audiences. There will be the musical Bear in Mind based on Goldilocks and a dance piece, Carnival of the animals.

Tickets for the festival performances are already on sale and some shows are sold out. Prices range from 80ILS to 155ILS. The 54th Israel festival will take place from May 25 to June 24 at the Jerusalem Theatre and other venues in the city. There will also be several free open-air performances at the First Station.