Speaking Arts Conference Opens Today in Jerusalem

Mona Mashi'l/Photo: Anat Merav

[Press Release] The  Speaking Art conference  brings together Israeli and Palestinian artists. This year’s conference opens, appropriately, on International Tolerance Day. Dozens of artists, musicians, performers, dancers – Israeli and Palestinian – meet again in Jerusalem, November 16 and 17, thanks to support from the Jerusalem Foundation, the YMCA- Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem Intercultural Center.

Year after year, the conference promotes cooperation and dialogue between Jewish and   Arabs artists.  The conference is open to public with events, workshops and classes at various venues throughout the city.  Attached is the full program schedule.

Achinoam Nini/Photo courtesy of PR

The opening concert, set for November 16, 2011, 20:30 at Beit Masia Theater, promises to be an exciting and unique event.  For the first time on the same stage, Achinoam Nini and Gili Dor will perform with Palestinian dancer Mona Mashi’l at Beit Masia in Jerusalem.  Achinoam Nini, better known around the world as ‘Noa’, is a leading internationally-renowned performing and recording artist in Israel.  Gil Dor’s strong background in jazz, classical and rock music, created the special duo of Achinoam and Gil, who often worked together with Arab and Palestinian artists from around the world.

The closing concert, on November 17, 2011, at 20:00 at the beautiful YMCA auditorium, is a fabulous performance by Amal Murkus, with 8 musicians hosting Sameer Makhoul and Nassim Dakwar.  During the day, Jerusalem’s YMCA will host musical workshops led by Sameer Makhoul, with Achinoam Nini and Gili Dor who will discuss musical dialogue between the Arab and Jewish worlds.  A portion of the workshop will include a discussion about the life of composer Muhammad Abdel Wahab, a review of his work and his contribution to music.

Amal Murkus/Photo courtesy of PR

The dance group Vertigo will host a workshop on movement, in the Gerard Behar Blaustein Civic Center.  Donald Byrd, the Tony Award nominee and Bessie Award winner, from the Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle will participate in this seminar as part of his research in exploring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The choreographer  Ilanit Tadmor, who has worked with artists world over and established the Play Center, where she teachers improvisation, will lead a workshop with Rabaa Mourkous, a dancer and choreographer who founded the Movement and Dance Center in Kfar Yassif and the “Rimaz” Contemporary Dance Ensemble.  .

The theater workshop will be hosted at both the YMCA and at Psik Theater in Beit Masia. The group will be led by Hisham Suleiman, a director, actor and playwright and founder of the Nazareth Fringe Theater, and Shmuel Hadjes, actor and founder of Jerusalem’s Psik Theater.  Kader Harini, who established the ‘Comedy Theater’ in Al-Azariyah, and played principle roles, facilitated and directed theater groups in ‘Nady Al-Quds’ Jerusalem and ‘Nihawand’ will participate in the session with Dr. Bonna Devora Haberman, Ph.D. in Philosophy and Education.

For tickets, call 02-623-7000.