by: Malka Hagbi, Natalia Nimer, Ronit Bar On-Azoulay, Liat lax, Abu
El Assel Shaden, Valentina Basov, Anna Zubatov, Keren Sharaby, Gabriel Guler,
Avraham Sadan, Vladimir Yuzik, Arman Yeloyan, Alberto Gabay, Yaacov Vartanov,
Cochava Arava and Mykhaylo Basov.
Feb 9th 7:30pm
Feb 10th 2:30pm & 8:00pm
La MaMa E.T.C. will present
Inbal Dance Theater of Israel February 9 and 10 in three-dance concert as the
grand finale to Inbal's 2002 American tour, which has taken the troupe to
San Diego, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Boca Raton. The
evening will be comprised of two new works, "Sajarra" by Ilana Cohen and "Ruah
Kadim" by Racheli Sela, and a revival of "The Story of Ruth,"
an art dance by Inbal's legendary founder, Sara Levi Tanai, who is Israel's
Poet Laureate in Art, Music and Dance.
In this new piece, two elderly women of Mid Eastern descent, who embody tradition,
observe the rapidly changing lifestyle of the younger generation. The famous
musician Shlomo Bar and choreographer Ilana Cohen create a vibrant new language
of music and ethnic dance, based on the Inbal style as well as other folk dances.
Duration: 35 min Choreographer Ilana Cohen was born in Rehovot. In 1989, she represented
Israel in the International Dance Festival in North Carolina. She was part
of the dance corps and performed as a solo dancer in Inbal Dance Theater for
more than twenty years. She currently serves as dance director of Inbal Dance
Theater as well as Assistant Artistic Director. Her previous work in Inbal
"Kinah," "Em," "Hatzi Glimat Hamalhut," "Talouvot,"
"Ra'alah" and "Sajarra," which was a collaboration with
the prominent musician Shlomo Bar. Tikva Hoter Yishai (Yediot Ahronot) wrote,
"Sajarra is one of Cohen's finest works as she brings the magnificent
lnbal tradition back to its former glory."
Created by Racheli Sela of lnbal, "Ruah Kadim" is a musical tapestry
that is alive with sound, light and "local movements." This work,
inspired by Inbal's local environment, incorporates elements of Sephardic Jewish
prayer, Arab folk music and liturgy as well as the rhythm of the debka. Duration:
Choreographer Racheli Sela was born in Yemen and is one of the founders
of lnbal Dance Theater. For many years, she performed numerous roles as both
dancer and singer. She composes and performs on various instruments, most prominently
the drum. Her works at lnbal include "Akevot," two productions in
which she is both choreographer and composer, "Merhava" and "Ruah
Kadim," and the lyrics for "Hatzi Glimat Hamalhut."
THE STORY OF RUTH
Biblical themes, combined with the folklore of Middle Eastern Jews and the Israeli
experience, are the foundations on which Inbal is based. This staging of the
ageless story of Ruth, which never ceases to astound with its grace and simplicity,
exemplifies the company's roots. Duration: 35 rnin Choreography: Sara Levi-
Tanai. Music: Ovadia Toviah, newly adapted by Rafi Kadishon.
Choreographer Sara Levi- Tanai, Israel's Prize Laureate in Art, Music
and Dance, is Founder of Inbal Dance Theatre. Born in Israel when it was under
Ottoman rule, she became orphaned and was moved to an orphanage in Safed and
later moved to the Meir-Shfeya Children's Village near Zichron Yaakov. She was
trained as an actor and worked as a kindergarten teacher in the '30s and '40s,
when she began creating poems, songs and dances as materials for her students.
After WWII, she met a group of young Yemenite immigrants who eventually became
the core of Inbal Dance Theatre. Upon establishment of the State of Israel,
prominent Jewish choreographer Jerome Robbins was invited to advise the Norman
Fund (now the America-Israel Cultural Fund) regarding which dance institutions
to support. He discovered Sara Levi- Tanai and recommended the fuinding of Inbal,
which was still in its infancy.
Sara Levi -Tanai's greatness lies in her successful integration of Yemenite
Jewish culture into the Israeli cultural mainstream and her talent for transforming
authentic folk material into modern stage art. Dora Sowden (Jerusalem Post)
wrote, "The Story Of Ruth is not a folk dance, nor even ethnic dance.
It is art dance that belongs here and remains a source of our heritage and
pride, created with genius."
ABOUT INBAL DANCE THEATER
Nestled in the picturesque Suzanne Dellal Center, lnbal Dance Theatre, founded
fifty years ago by Israel Prize Laureate Sara Levi-Tanai, is a mirror of
"old-new" Israel. Inbal's unique style, praised by the likes of Martha
Graham and Jerome Robbins, uses modern dance to depict the clash between modernity
and tradition. Many of the dances are based on Biblical themes, such as the
Song of Songs, The Story of Ruth or Winged Letters. Some dances, such as "Sajarra,"
depict the conflict between tradition and modernization. Others illustrate
the beauty of the many ethnic cultures and Jewish traditions.
For generations, Inbal Dance Theatre has served as a cultural institution rooted
in Jewish values and its dances have become an Israeli national cultural treasure.
Thanks to Inbal, the music and culture of Yemenite Jewry, as well as Israel's
other Middle Eastern communities, has greatly influenced both Israeli culture
and Jewish culture at large. The spirit of Inbal has stimulated many prominent
artists and raised interest worldwide in Jewish and Israeli folklore. The company
has toured extensively in Europe, Asia and the United States. Over the past
several years, it has worked with internationally renowned choreographers, including
Japan's Kei Takei and South Africa's Vincent Mantesoe, who have injected an
international flavor to the company.
Since 1996, the company's General Manager and Artistic Director has been Chaim
Shiran, who is Moroccan-born, a Paris-trained actor and a founder of Israel
Educational Television. He left a successful film career in 1982 for a two-year
sabbatical in which he managed the company for two years and prevented it from
closing down. Among his other works, Shiran was initiator of the Sephardic-Jewish
film festivals that were held in New York in 1989, 1992 and 1994. Upon returning
to Inbal in 1996, he reinvisioned the company as Ethnic Arts Center, Inbal,
mobilizing the "spirit of Inbal" into a multicultural, multi-arts
institution that produces two music, literature, poetry and dance festivals
each year. This multi-arts center is widely considered to be more successful
than Inbal had been alone, since it produces more programs and generates greater
involvement of Israel's many different ethnic communities. Its outreach to
the world has also been noteworthy: recent productions have featured Jewish
Ladino singers from Bulgaria, Jewish Tango artists from South America, and
various kinds of performances by Jewish artists from Africa, Bako (Afghanistan),
Andalusia and Iraq.
Shiran sees his mission as to preserve the classical dances of Sara Levi-Tanai
for future generations while initiating and doing new work. He has a special
interest in the oriental arts, which are the most frequent subject of his films.
He is preserving "everything that goes on" at Inbal on videotape.
LA MAMA'S MINI-FESTIVAL
OF ISRAELI THEATER
This is the third production in a mini-festival of three Israeli performance
events being presented during La MaMa's 40th Anniversary Season. From January
24 to February 3, La MaMa will present the Netela Theatre of Jerusalem in "Bavel,"
the first play by Ethiopian Israeli artists to reach our shores. It exemplifies
a new and provocative brand of theater that uses traditional Ethiopian music
and storytelling in a modern context. From December 20 to 30, La MaMa presented
"Briah" (Creation) by Israeli playwright Yossefa Even-Shoshan directed
by Geula Jeffet Attar, a play dealing with the subject of creation through
the life-story of Shlomo Ibn-Gabirol, the greatest of the Spanish poets of
the Golden Age, who created a woman for himself out of his longing and feverish
artistic imagination. Inbal
Dance Theatre Website