By Gaia Regoli
The last week of May was only the beginning of an intense artistic and cultural period for Jerusalem. In fact, every year during summertime, many openings, festivals and other cultural events take place in the city.
However, before mentioning some of the several events that will happen in the next weeks, let us go back to Sunday 26th of May, when everything started. In the early morning, there was the opening of the Djanogly gallery at the Djanogly Visual Arts Center, where children of the Peleh School gathered in the main hall and enjoyed the new art exhibition together with live music and workshops.
From Monday 27th until Wednesday 29th, the talented dancers of the Body.Dance.Site performed at the YMCA, impressing the audience not only for their amazing skills but especially for the powerful feelings that they were able to infuse into the public. Probably the most impressive dance performance I have ever attended.
On May 28th I had the opportunity to be present at opening night of the experimental dance performance Vrudim (Pink) that took place at the Beit Mazia theatre, in the city center. This is a newly-born collaboration between Italy and Israel, formed by two different works, one by Roberto Scafati and the other by Eyal Nahum. The performance started at 8.30 pm. Imagine four figures, two men and two women, dressed in black with black feathers on their right shoulder. For an hour, mysterious supernatural forces invaded the four bodies, which squirmed on the stage with anxiety. It almost felt like those bodies were not human anymore but just objects with no mind of their own.
Besides, Wednesday and Thursday were even more culturally busy than the first days of the week. In particular, on May 29th, first, there was a concert at the Jerusalem Music Center by the extremely talented young musicians of the Goldman Program, supported by the Jerusalem Foundation. Then, the Musrara Mix Festival was inaugurated as well. Hence, an evening of classical music followed by experimental visual arts, such as video installations, virtual reality projects and so on.
The cultural apex of the week was reached on May 30th, due to the opening of two events of great relevance. At 8 pm, the courtyard of the Museum for Islamic Art was suddenly filled with a huge amount of people. The façade of the building was brightened by blue and red lights, a buffet was waiting to satisfy the hungry, as well as both red and white wine were ready to be served in shiny glasses. The new exhibition Jewelry Making: Past & Present focuses on the contrast between ancient and new jewels inspired by the old ones and created by the museum with contemporary materials. I appreciated the introductory description at the entrance of the exhibition, which referred to jewelry as a language formed by different materials which dialogue with one another and create meaning. Last but not least, at 9 pm I left the Islamic Museum to go to the opening event of the Israel Festival at the Jerusalem Theatre, which is located not far from it. In the middle of the theatre square, a big stage was surrounded by people who were impatiently waiting for the opening concert to start. The atmosphere was magic and a play of lights was projected on the façade of the theatre, making it look like some kind of fairy place.
The Israel Festival will continue until June 15th and it has many things in store. Furthermore, these are some additional events happening in the next weeks: the Pride Parade on Thursday 6th; and, a week later, the opening of the Jerusalem Design Week at the Hansen House on Thursday 13th. Stay tuned.