Many parents anticipate the approaching Sukkot holiday with dread, knowing that they will soon be overdosing on “children’s entertainment.” Don’t despair – the “Sounds of Childhood” festival offers an alternative experience everyone can enjoy. For the past nine years, the festival has established a reputation for artistic excellence, featuring premieres for children in all areas of the performing arts. Composer and conductor Gil Shohat, the festival’s artistic director, says, “Culture begins at an early age. I am confident that the variety of performances at the festival will be a formative experience for the children, nurturing their tastes and enriching their cultural environment.”
Opening the festival will be “Crazy Rhythm” with Gil Shohat on piano, the percussion talents of “Percado” and Din Din Aviv with vocals and drums for a concert in which East meets West and Contemporary connects with Classical. Featuring: Rachmaninoff, Bach, Bartok, Ravel and selections from Din Din Aviv’s album “Oh, My Lord,” all proceeds from this concert are dedicated to the children’s ward of Wolfson Hospital.
Combining the best of both worlds, Michal Yanai will venture forth from television land to host a special concert – Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” arranged for percussion, conducted by Shohat, performed by the Ra’anana Symphoniette, featuring “Percado” and a promise of surprises to come.
Body drumming is the theme of Rami Kleinstein’s first foray into composing for children. “Beketsev HaTiguf” (In the Rhythm of Body Drumming) a play created especially for the festival, in collaboration with playwright/director Ronen Goldfarb Peled, tells the story of Gil, a boy from Brazil who may not yet know Hebrew, but knows his moves.
A revival production of the Israeli Opera’s “Cinderella” will premiere at the festival, conducted by David Zeva and directed by Niv Hoffman.
The Fresco Dance Company in conjunction with the Holon Meditech will present “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” choreographed by Yoram Carmi and directed by Gilad Kimhi. This lively rendition based on the familiar fairy tale promises to be a fashionably funny fun-filled romp.
Dana Ruttenberg’s “NABA,” an interactive dance performance in which each audience member selects his or her own soundtrack (through the use of headphones) promises a unique experience for each individual.
The songs of the late Uzi Hitman form the core of a musical created by Tzipi Mor and Motzi Aviv: “I Remember Songs from Preschool.”
The work of Israeli poets such as Leah Goldberg, Ehud Manor, Miriam Yellin Shteklis, and Jonathan Geffen comes to life in a dance-theatre work “The Magical Hat” by Goshen Theatre. Written and directed by Yaron Kafkafi, with choreography by Limor Rose.
More from Goshen Theatre: the play “Backstage” directed by Zvia Hoberman with choreography by Eldar Grossman and music by Tal Blechrovitz, tells the story of a boy who slips backstage at the theatre and discovers an imaginative world of invention.
The festival will also host “Clowns Searching for Meaning” which premiered in March at the Haifa International Festival of Children’s Theatre. The play tells the story of two clowns who have been left without a circus to perform in, and their search for a new direction in life.
Leora Shlesinger and Luli the Chick will perform “Time for a Hug” for the youngest audiences, with songs from the Hop-Luli Channel show.
The festival continues on the Theatre piazza with free activities and performances sponsored by the Hop! Channel, featuring movies and familiar characters from Hop! series and a variety of musical workshops.
Sounds of Childhood
Holon Theatre, 11 Kugel Blvd
Information: 03-5023001/2/3, www.hth.co.il
Image credit: Yossi Zavker