Mayday, Mayday! The hottest international talent is infiltrating Israel this month and they're bringing their a-game. From the hot-tempered Azaelia Banks, to Milky Chance, and every girl's favorite Spaniard, Enrique Iglesias, the Barby, Park HaYarkon, and Rishon Lezion Live Park are ready to keep the party going all night long. Also on the docket, a handful of festivals including Jacob's Ladder, Abu Gosh, and Israel's answer to Burning Man. Throw in the adaptation of a Tony-award winning Broadway, a documentary film festival for the ages, and Jerusalem's much-anticipated Israel Festival and you'll be begging for a culture break at the end of it all with our list of hottest handpicked events.
The best things to do in Israel this month
Screening over 100 new documentary movies, Docaviv is the largest film festival in the city of Tel Aviv and a must for anyone with an inquisitive mind. The Cinematheque plays host to award-winning and thought-provoking films, with many of them featuring Q&As with stars and directors, while there are also plenty of free outdoor screenings throughout the city.
Founded in 1961, this multidisciplinary festival continues its international tradition with a cornucopia of stage art, theatre performances, contemporary dance and classical music. For several weeks each year, the city of Jerusalem morphs into a magnet for lovers of culture, featuring foremost international and Israeli artists.
Evoking all the glamour and grind of showbiz, we watch 17 dancers who have worked their whole lives to compete for the same opportunity. As you gain insight into the performers’ and choreographer’s personalities, inspirations, and life stories, your heart will get swept away by their dreams and courage. Starring Maya Dagan, Lazarov Yehezkel, Dana Frieder, and many more Israeli stars, Tsedi Sarfati's brilliant adaptation of this Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway classic paints a beautiful true-to-life depiction of performers struggling to achieve greatness.
Enter the unique and fascinating realm of the blind and deaf community, taking a step into the dynamics of their life. They perform a basic daily scene, baking bread, inviting audiences to encounter something simple and familiar, yet filled with intriguing nuances beyond our comprehension. While the dough is kneaded, raised, and baked, “they re-enact vivid or distant memories, recall forgotten dreams and joyful moments, and ‘touch’ the spark of Creation present in every one of us.” Acclaimed by The Press to be “heartbreaking, poignant, yet told without self-pity,” and filled with “transcendental moments as they dance, laugh and reach out to us,” the actors expose a dark and silent world, impossible for us to imagine, but completely real.
Mayim Bialik, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Ilana Glazer, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Larry David, Groucho Marx...it comes as no secret that, particularly in the media, Jews have earned their reputation as the "comedians of the modern world" – a title that they carry with pride, self-deprecation, and a generous heaping of chutzpah. What you might not have known, though, is that the binding association between Judaism and humor predates primetime television.
With 14 #1 songs on Billboard’s Dance charts, holding the record for most #1 hits and the longest-running #1 hit on the Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks, Billboard magazine named him the 14th most successful male dance club artist of all time. And selling over 170 million records worldwide, Iglesias is also one of the best-selling Spanish artists ever. Across the world, anywhere that has radio, everyone knows the lyrics to at least a handful of his hits, like I Like It, Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You), and Dirty Dancer, to name a few of many.
In the work that won Yasmeen Godder her title through DanceTalk as Israel’s “best choreographer of 2017,” Godder and her company investigate performance as a means of connecting audience members to themselves and the performers, both individually and as a whole. She uses emotionally engaging themes like empathy, understanding, identity, and sensory experience, ingraining them into the piece’s structure. The work is also inspired by Stabat Mater, a well-known Christian hymn, which Tomer Damsky reconstructed into a hypnotic original to play live, deepening the immersive quality of the performance. Before Godder and her company leave to perform in Germany this June, don’t miss what critics exclaim to be "deep, spiritual, humanistic and moving,” with “a sweeping quality of rare and highly complex simplicity".