Magical Myths Children’s Dance-Theatre Festival

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Summer itself is magical, bringing a feeling of joy as it returns to us each year with long sunny days and their gift of time. Like all else magical, summer has its own rituals and traditions: swimming pools, ice cream, summer camp, and of course – Suzanne Dellal’s Magical Myths (Kesem Shel Agada) Festival from August 17 – 20, to close the season with its celebration of dance and theatre for the child in us all.

Now in its 19th year, the program is co-produced by the Suzanne Dellal Centre, with the enthusiastic support of the Yaron Yerushalmi family, and the Arts and Culture branch of the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. In the spirit of celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Suzanne Dellal Centre, this year’s festival places an emphasis on dance, reflected both in the performances and workshops.

Goshen Theatre will premiere the dance-theatre work “The Magic Hat” created by Yaron Kafkafi as homage to beloved Israeli children’s poets: Leah Goldberg, Yonatan Geffen (yes, the father of), Ehud Manor, Miriam Yilan Shteklis and more. Writing for the child within us all, these poets create a literary texture that is somehow uniquely Israeli in its mix of joy, pain and humor all rubbing up against one another every which way, quirky, sweet and rough. The text is accompanied by the Goshen Theatre’s dance group “Aristo Classy” with choreography by Limor Rose.

Michal Natan’s flamenco company “Compas” brings a new flair to the fairy tale with their premiere of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Colorful costumes and scenery created by the Rakefet Levi School for Stage Desgin complete the flamboyant picture. The Dina Telem Dance Group brings the world of childhood games to the stage with “Hide and Seek…Three…Four,” and The Orna Porat Theatre will perform the play: “Elephants Don’t Dance Ballet,” arranged by Izik Weingarten, directed and choreographed by Galia Fradkin, which tells the story of Esmerelda, a young elephant who insists on becoming a ballet dancer despite her mother’s doubts.

The tiniest tots (and their companions) will be enthralled by story telling as presented by the Adam Theater with Florence Fish-Hacham. Adaptations of Kush’s “Shmulik Kipod”, Leah Goldberg’s “Where is Pluto” and Miriam Roth’s “Yael’s House”, the foundations of Israeli childhood culture, will be accompanied by music, puppets and other bells and whistles. As someone who has read these stories many times over (and can still recite long sections of “Where is Pluto” by heart), I strongly affirm that their magic will never fade.

Strolling storybook characters, open-air theatre and workshops will fill the plaza between the two theatres, with performances on the stage every evening at 17:30 and 19:30, open to the public free of charge.

A special highlight of this dance-themed festival will be the gaga classes for children every day in Studio A (accompanied by an adult). This workshop is based on choreographer Ohad Naharin’s unique movement language as adapted for children and families. Gaga is a very free-form method, based on sensation and imagery, it is a delight to anyone who enjoys movement.

Information and tickets: 03- 5105656 www.suzannedellal.org.il www.ticketnet.co.il .