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What's New in the Israeli Forums August 2010?Givaa Tlula 14.9.10 

A Summary of August Forum Activity
By Givaa Tlula
Translated from Hebrew by Dov Gilor

We had another month of dancing, festivals and dance camps during the hot month of August - hot in different ways - the Hungarian Festival, the 2010 Fun Camp, the European Dance and others. You can view the video and photos of these events on Facebook.

Those dancers who attended festivals outside of Israel have reported on the excitement of dancing outside of Israel. Below you will find the report about North America by "Hora," a dancer, who uses the nick-name "Hora Eilat" in the forums. Link

While the dance camps outside of Israel are filled with many teenage dancers, as can be understood from the video clips, fewer and fewer youngsters in Israel are taking part in the enjoyment of Israeli dance. How can we involve youngsters in dance sessions? Should it be via the youth movements? Should it be via an integration of Israeli dance in required school courses such as music courses (Oren Bachar)? Would it be possible to offer an optional Israeli dance class among other optional courses (Yankele Levi)? Should we include more Israeli dance during recess? It seems to me that Israeli dancing during recess is something that is always remembered. Therefore maybe it is truly time to renew this idea and to encourage the students with enjoyable dance activities and suitable dance instructors. Link , Link

Some dance teachers go outside of Israel and leave behind young instructors as their replacements. This creates a great opportunity for a young instructor. Link

On the other hand, there are some dancers who do not like when the instructor leaves Israel so often, and usually leaves his dance sessions in the hands of other instructors. Link

The subject of "too many new dances" is being raised again. There are 200 - 240 new dances a year! Which dancer can learn them all or even a majority of them? And which instructors know them all or even most of them? It seems that there is no one who can. Is Israeli folkdance becoming Israeli Dance? Will each dance club have its own unique repertoire? And what happens when a dance instructor is also a choreographer? Link

Who is filming all of the new dances? Yair Greenstein from "Barboor" forum is. Yair has a column called, "What is Happening in the Harkadot?" in which he tells his loyal readers, via pictures and exhibits, what he has learned lately in his Harkadot. Link

Remember the pleasurable experiences of dancing we once had? We can find this pleasure again in the nostalgic dance sessions. This type of dance session was held at Genigar; there they celebrated the eightieth birthday of the great choreographer, Yoav Ashriel. This was a very well attended dance session; it included choreographers, dancers and dance instructors from all corners of Israel and the world. There is no doubt that this was a very emotional and pleasurable experience. Of course, they danced many dances choreographed by Yoav Ashriel and sang the songs of the dances he choreographed - 124 dances according to Rokdim site. Link

Mazal Tov to Yoav Ashriel! We wish him many more years of dancing. You can read about Yoav and his activities at the Markid web site. Link
His comments on dancing are available at the Sabres site. Link

We also recommend that you read the well documented description, obviously written with love, about the special dance session in Genigar which was organized by Ilana and Yair Bino. Here is Iris' description: Link
The evening was recorded by the camera of Ophir of Kibbutz Gaaton. His photos captured the special atmosphere and thus succeed in including in the experience those who did not attend. The pictures are included at the end of this report. In the same vein, the dance session of Asher and Nurit in Kfar HaMaccabia was similar in nature. It was a dance session of the 80's and 90's dances which have survived the test of time and are still loved. Link , Link

Examples of the dancing: Link , Link

Another issue for discussion is, "Who is the leader in couple dances?" The subject was raised in the Horatenu Forum and also in Tapuz where it is called, "Who is the Boss?" Does the man lead the woman in folkdance? Or is there equality in leading? It is interesting that the men almost unanimously agreed that they should lead. There is no political correctness; there is no equality. They all said, almost unanimously, "It is the man's responsibility to lead the woman on the dance floor!" “He is the navigator; he is the initiator; if you do not like it, no more dances for you; be pretty and shut up, be smart and not right!” Is Israeli folk dancing becoming Israeli social dancing? Link , Link

Are we to assume that a man who dances circle dances well also knows how to dance couple dances well? My understanding is that there is a good chance that he does, but the men themselves say that it is not necessarily true. In their opinion, despite the fact that they have learned circle dances, it will be difficult for them to do couple dances because there is an additional element involved - coordinating with a partner. Link

What should we wish folk dancers and instructors for the New Year? Should we wish for them a year of creativity and growth? That's a problem because we want fewer dances and also dances with more qualitative creativity. This was an especially hot summer; many dance sessions were cancelled because of the oppressive heat. Therefore, we wish for improved air conditioning in the coming year; more halls should be properly air conditioned.

I pray that all of the wishes of the dancers and choreographers come true - that there will be greater creativity and halls filled with happy dancers.
I wish you a Happy New Year, a year of peace, and a year when Gilad Shallit returns home to his parents!

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