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Generators of change: This festival is a celebration of femininity and Israeliness Israel today


The "Meet" festival in Kfar Shalem offers three days of live and close dance, which celebrates female and Israeli action and reminds us that an audience is first and foremost a community. • According to artistic director Ayala Frenkel: "

Can art change reality?

If you ask those who are engaged in artistic activism, now known as 'artivism', the answer is unequivocal - yes.

On the importance of artivism, American human rights activist Susan Nossel wrote that "the motivation of an individual makes social change possible," and this mindset is undoubtedly the driving force, not to mention a generator, of the "Meet" festival in Kfar Shalem, held by the Tel Aviv Municipality. Spring Jaffa starting tomorrow (Monday) and for three days.

During them, the public space of the Kfar Shalem neighborhood will be filled with multidisciplinary dance works that will give expression to the festival's social agenda, which is marked by the values ​​of feminism, multiculturalism and the connection between art and community.

Courtesy of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality

"Meet" in Kfar Shalem is the incarnation and development of a festival initiated in 2017 by its artistic director, dancer and choreographer Ayala Frenkel, and took place at the beginning of its journey at the "Tools" Center for Choreography in Bat Yam.

In 2020, Frenkel joined the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, and since then she has been working on the festival with Laur Dalion Paz, the municipality's dance facilitator, and with the Southern Community Division, which is run by Dr. Ovadia Cohen. "In a reality where most of the large and well-known cultural institutions are located in the city center." Cost, which enables the accessibility of dance - an art that is sometimes perceived as too abstract and communicates only to scholars - and a welcome expansion of its audiences.

Thinking about the audience as a community and art that meets the person directly is tangibly present in the festival program, which includes running performances as well as premieres and weaves for movement and shared existence a variety of sectors and styles: artistic and community dance, works with complex content and shows for the whole family, teenagers and seniors, villagers Shalem and other neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv, and Eastern and Western cultural influences.

This stated position of diversity and inclusion is closely related to the fact that "Meet" is a festival that is formed out of the thought and action of women.

This year, it will feature leading artists in contemporary Israeli dance, including Orly Portal, Renna Raz, Rachel Ardos and Roni Hadash, along with young choreographers who have already begun to establish their work in the field, such as Tamar Binyamini and Nina Traub, and many more.

"Check" by Noa Zamir and in collaboration with Aya Steigman, Photo: Tamar Lem

It is no coincidence that the female being is also flooded in various ways, and is at the center of several works in particular: Moran Yitzhaki Abergel deals with "On Life and Death", an intimate work for four women, on the insufficient topic of quiet birth;

The artist Anat Dreamer created the Spoken Word show, "Now it's allowed to tell," with Kfar Shalem residents, who will share where they came from and what they dream about;

And Mia Tamir created "Aura" with the students of the Neve Ofer Community Center, through which she connected with her inner warrior, and understood how dance can be used as a medium for creating a revolution.

According to Ayala Frenkel, "placing the female perspective in the public space through art, taking ownership of our bodies in this space, making the voice heard and providing a platform for the movement of girls and women in the neighborhood in the neighborhood, all have tremendous social and artistic value."

From the body - to politics

A special event to be held this year at "Meetings" is "Touching Hands: A Tribute to Anna Halperin," led by choreographers and teachers Ilanit Tadmor and Raba Morcus as a national project, in collaboration with the Kibbutzim College College Dance School.

Halperin, one of the most prominent figures in postmodern American dance, passed away last year just before her 101st birthday.

As early as the 1960s, and for about six decades of doing, she fulfilled a groundbreaking work that turned life into art, and dance into ritual and healing tools, without sacrificing aesthetic and performance values.

In this context she was among the first to release her performances into the public space, creating works that exposed in a way dimensions that tend to be silenced in society and dance, such as the sick and aging, and initiated politically oriented choreographic actions that flooded issues such as racism, violence and social justice.

"Far Country" by Orly Portal, Photo: Tamar Lem

Tadmor and Morkus participated in a workshop conducted by Anna Halperin in 2014, during one of her visits to Israel, and inspired her to create the event "Touching Hands", which is based on working with a so-called "score", which in dance is a score of movement instructions for a certain choreographic sequence.

In preparation for the event, which will take place at "Meetings," Ilanit Tadmor held learning sessions with various audiences for about a month and a half, including female students at the Kibbutzim Seminary Dance School, women from "Gilo Workshops - Movement and Performing Arts for Adult Women" founded by choreographer Galit Liss, and more.

In the sessions she told about Halperin's work and taught the "score", which is based on simple movements accessible to any body, whether he is a "dancer" or not, with the aim of opening the action to the participation of each and every one.

Tadmor sees this as a return to the primary, even pre-cultural, essence of "dance that belongs to all", and at the same time the promotion of critical values ​​for our society: "Equality,

Simplicity, and healing that can happen in a place of movement, motivation and enjoyment.

Everything always returns to the place of connection - to ourselves, to each other, and to the environment. "

The "Meet" festival in Kfar Shalem is a proposal to experience a living, close, participatory and connecting dance, with the understanding that there is really no separation between the artistic, the social and the political when it comes to movement and body.

In fact, our choice to be present in space already embodies the possibility of fulfilling an activist action.

This is a celebration of female and Israeli creation, with its multiplicity of voices and bodies, which invites us to enjoy as an audience, and to remember that above all - we are a community.

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Source: israelhayom

All life articles on 2022-07-03

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