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Article: March Review of the Israeli Forums

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Written by Givaa Tlula; Translated by Maxine Cohen

March, the month of Adar where Purim falls, was a happy month of dancing festivals and lots of costumes. Several dance sessions held competitions for the most beautiful costume. There were even costumes which suggested dance songs; a lot of effort went into the costumes; there were prizes and photographs. Why doesn't Purim come twice a year?

The Irgun HaRokdim site had a list of the special dance sessions for Purim. It was in a table format for the dancers' benefit – thanks go to Mehol HaShalom!

Some of the Purim experiences written in the forums, and of course photographs, may be viewed here: Link, Link, Link.

Does the loud volume at dance sessions damage our hearing? According to an item written on behalf of the Ministry for the Protection of the Environment, the answer is unequivocally, “Yes!” Read Adi Haber's piece: Link.

Indeed, there is justification for the dancers' repeated complaints about the loud volume at dance sessions. And the topic remains on the dancers’ agenda:

Why don't young people come to dance sessions?

Is it old-fashioned? Is it for old people? Is it boring? Is it for geeks? What about the repertoire - does the static and invariable repertoire drive the young people away? Are young girls afraid of dancing with "old men," and therefore putting off going? You can read about this and more in the Tapuz forum: Link

How, despite all this, can we attract young people to dance sessions in order to perpetuate folk dancing?
The dancers suggest introducing folk dancing into the school curriculum, both during active breaks and as a proper lesson.

Should the community centers be opened to dance sessions for young people where only "contemporary" dances are played? Or, should we choose to teach them dances which are the foundation of folk dance? Would it be possible to introduce "folk dancing" as a sport?

Is it correct to separate dance sessions for young beginner dancer; should it be different in character from the dance sessions for mature adults? This does indeed work in Eilat, thanks to the welcome initiative of Avi Avitan. He voluntarily runs dance sessions in the schools during the breaks, and at the Eilat Municipality which has pitched in to provide sports halls two afternoons a week for the dance sessions. Avi combines line dances and folk dances. This has been very successful. (Reuben Avraham) Link

There is an interesting article by Uri Givony about the revolution in the Israeli folk dancing world, and the changes to Israeli dance. He discusses what is happening, the influence of dance camps abroad on the multiplicity of folk dances, the loud volume at dance sessions, and more. He writes from the very depths of his heart and displays honest concern for the future of folk dancing. Nurit, a dancer from abroad, understands Uri's worry. Indeed, there are those who aspire to preserve the nostalgia dances and reduce the demand for new dances. Doron, who sympathizes with Uri, sums up the matter- folk dancing business has become a source of livelihood and therefore profitability also counts and not just nostalgia. Apart from this, there is nothing wrong with new dances, only the dosage! You can read about this and more on the Irgun HaRokdim website: Link

Have a good month and happy dancing!