Monday, June 4, 2012

LARGEST Israel dance festival in the U.S. celebrates the land of Israel with more than 800 dancers on stage

Israeli Dance Troupes from Mexico, Panama, Brazil & Canada will join 600 dancers from our own Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center at the 16th edition of Festival Yachad - one of the biggest Israeli Dance Festivals around the world.

This year’s theme for Festival Yachad will be “Shir,” or in Hebrew “Music.” It will celebrate, through dance, our rich heritage and connection to the Land of Israel using colorful costumes, unique musical arrangements and choreography, dramatic sound and light effects and beautiful scenery.

“It is our way to bring Israeli Folk Dance to all segments of our community” explains Sofia Ackermann, co-chairperson of this one-of-a-kind event, when asked about why such dynamic performances in such different venues.

And, when asked about the theme - “Music”, Roger Weiger, Artistic Director of Festival Yachad, explains in details, “Each choreography will portray a different rhythm that influences our rich Israeli Folklore. We will pay tribute to decades of beautiful Hebrew songs and will celebrate many incredible Israeli artists and groups that became famous though Music Festivals like the Eurovision or Cochav Nolad. Music, being the common thread of the Festival, allows choreographers and dancers to captivate their audiences with their passion towards Israel.  All performances promise to be educational, artistic and brimming with Jewish content.”

The Bamachol Dance Program is a year-round program at the Michael-Ann Russell JCC and has over 650 dancers, ages 3-35, divided into 25 different Israeli Dance Troupes. They attend Dance Festivals around the world and this year alone their dancers traveled to Panama, Brazil, Orlando, New York, Mexico, Barcelona, Vancouver and Israel.

“It is truly a comprehensive program”, says Esther Fuhrman, co-chairperson of the Bamachol Dance Program and also a teacher and a dancer - “It is a wonderful way to educate our children about their Heritage while they perform our Jewish Traditions, besides, Israeli Dance is one of the few activities that is at the same time physical, artistic, social, educational, fun and Jewish!”  

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