Looking for routine: An iron sword war has also brought down the curtain on the Israeli cultural world, whose institutions were closed abruptly, like the rest of the economy.
Practiced during the COVID-19 period, the cultural world immediately adapted to the situation, shifting the focus of its institutions' activity to digital and online activities that can be held anywhere and under fire. The theaters uploaded story hours, meetings with actors and full performances to their sites, museums opened virtual tours and raised gallery discussions with artists and curators, and in many places filmed music performances without audiences that were broadcast on various channels.
Unlike the coronavirus, this time the reopening was relatively quick, and in recent weeks, under the instructions of the Home Front Command and with a lot of caution and sensitivity, the cultural world has returned to opening the institutions, trying to move the wheels and providing a momentary respite for the public.
Any fluctuation in combat can have an effect and everything is explosive and sensitive, so even this guide that tries to make sense of the cultural world, what is open and what is not, can quickly prove irrelevant. As of now, with the end of the ceasefire and the return to fighting, the situation is relatively optimistic, and the vast majority of cultural institutions have returned to work, even if not in full capacity.
The cinemas were the first to return - first the various cinematheques, and they were joined by cinema chains throughout the country, which opened in partial theaters and limited hours, but chose to return to give children and adults an hour and a half of escapism.
In the various compounds there are protected spaces near the halls, and in some of them the halls themselves serve as a protected space, so that even during an alarm the spectators can remain in the hall. Two highly talked-about films are expected to arrive on the big screen this week: "Trolls 3: The Good Voice," the third installment of the musical film series from DreamWorks Animation, and "Wonka," a colorful and musical prequel about Willy Wonka's early life.
In view of the partial opening, it is recommended to check the various cinema websites in advance.
The cinema is open,
The theater world has also returned to the stages, proving that despite everything, the show must go on. The large repertory theaters initially returned to the smaller and medium-sized theaters, which also in most cases serve as a protected space where the audience can remain seated in case of an alarm, but very soon the large halls and large productions, including musicals and multi-participant plays, will also open to the stage.
Even the Beer Sheva Theater, the southernmost of the repertory theaters, announced a resumption of operations from 11 December. Even smaller cultural centers such as Tzavta and Tmuna have completely returned to artistic activity. The repertoire has changed, some of the plays planned to be staged will be frozen at this stage, and each theater carefully chooses what is right at the moment and what suits the audience, which in the meantime flocks en masse and fills the halls.
Some choose comedies of pure escapism: "Between Holy and Holon" at Beit Lisin, "Marzipans" starring Lea Koenig or "The Comedy about the Bank Robbery" in Camry, which also responded to the situation with a special show dealing with war ("Days a thousand times better"). Some put on detective comedy ("Inspector Comes" in Haifa), classics ("Richard III" at the Bridge), and more.
Museums across the country were the first to copy the cultural scene to the online worlds, and as such were already well practiced during the Corona period, opened their sites to a variety of activities for the whole family, art tours, curators and artists discourse, and more. Alongside digital activity, museums have begun to open – some with smaller opening hours, some opening only certain exhibitions, but there is no doubt that the art world has woken up. It is recommended to check the various museum sites before visiting.
The dancers are also slowly returning to the stage, and various companies, including Vertigo and Batsheva, have returned to the hall with old and new works at the Suzanne Dellal Centre and elsewhere.
It seems that the music world is the last to fully return, and the sounds heard in the meantime are mostly from small and medium-sized places, until large musical performances will suit the public mood. Club chains in Israel such as Zappa and Gray are still closed, and only the Histadrut Friends club chain throughout the country announced the opening today, with a list of future music performances.
There are singers who have already returned to perform in places such as the Barbie Club, the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem, the Snail Club, Tzavta, Zucker Hall and the small hall in the Hall of Culture in Tel Aviv, alongside cultural halls throughout the country.
In the famous Louis Hall, the great hall of the hall in Tel Aviv, which contains 2500 seats, there are currently no music performances due to the Home Front Command's restriction on gatherings of up to 1000,19 people, but the one who does play there is the Philharmonic Orchestra, which has returned to perform and holds its concerts within the existing restrictions, at an earlier time (00:20 instead of 00:<>) and without stopping. In the event of an alarm and in the absence of a protected space for such a large number of people, the audience remains seated.
Israeli culture turned out to be one of the medicines that heals and comforts the wounded soul of us all. Hopefully, more and more places will open, restrictions will be lifted, the war will end and Shlomo Artzi will return to singing "More Than That We Don't Need" in front of 2,500 people in the Hall of Culture, a song that was loaded with a new meaning in this war.
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