The Israel Festival
One of Jerusalem's most culturally-rich festivals returns for its 55th anniversary this year with over 35,000 attendees expected in cultural hubs, nooks and crannies all over the Holy City. The cross-disciplinary artistic program is a magnet for all walks of life and interests, including a loyal fan-base that returns each year. The annual three-week event takes advantage of Jerusalem’s most unique and picturesque venues. And this year will be no different.
Included in the mix are The Jerusalem Theater, The Yellow Submarine, Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, the Islamic Art Museum and Kikar Safra, to name a few. Shows fall into several categories. Performance art and theater, dance and music shows will showcase a variety of talent; from Italian contemporary dance based on traditional folk choreography to Thunderstorm 2.0 – a classic Chinese story told through a moving and poetic theatrical language. Be sure to check out the original Israeli productions and for families and children there is the Israel Children Festival, and other events for the whole family, such as Symphony Soup – a story of a young girl needing to make soup for a man in distress. Also find master classes and professional lectures.
In special sites around the city, there will be free events open to the public. In Zion Square, the BBQ Festival will be held from the May 29 – June 3 (Sun-Thurs 16:00-23:00, Fri 15:30– Shabbat starts). This will include a rich artistic program of lectures by leading intellectuals, music and dance performances, film screenings and events for families and children. Or visit ‘Diving into the Neighborhoods’; to celebrate 25 years of The Yellow Submarine there will be a tour through the city, with performances by musicians. The Plaza Theatre Festival (May 28 – June 5, 18:30-23:00) will be hosted in the foyer every day before dance and theatre performances begin; beer and coffee will be available to a backdrop of art and live music.
Don’t miss the ‘Signal From Iran’ exhibition on June 7 at 20:30. Displayed at the Museum of Islamic Art, 60 posters provide a glimpse of the political, social and philosophical culture of the Islamic Republic, from 1973 (shortly before revolution) to 2013. For this evening, the exhibition will be combined with sound, spoken word, artistic and musical performances, and artists will work in the various museum spaces. Persepolis, the animated film which shows an Iranian girl during the Iran-Iraq war and the Islamic Revolution will also be screened.
May 24- Jun 11. Prices vary between NIS 20 NIS and NIS 580 for different performances. Special offers, packages and discounts available. Various venues around Jerusalem. See online for a full schedule, locations and tickets. (Israel-festival.org)