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Article: April Review of the Israeli Forums

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Written by Givaa Tlula; Translated by Zofia Shiber

During the month of April we celebrated the third anniversary of our website. We congratulate the members of Irgun Harokdim who have voluntarily and diligently worked on the routine upkeep of the site. Over the past year, underwent formative changes resulting in a more user-friendly setup. Special thanks go to Yardena, the person in charge of maintaining the site, for creating a special festive quiz in honor of our anniversary. Link.

In this month's “In the Slippers Corner,” Atara and Adi interviewed Gila Paz, the dance instructor and creator of several of our favorite dances including, Quisas, Gan Chorpi, and others. You may read about her work and her devotion to Israeli folk dance here: Link. now offers you several different ways to locate a certain harkada. You may search according to geographical region, by the city, or by using the instructor's name, the day of the week, the type of class, its repertoire, and even by price. Thanks to Harry’s son’s expertise, it is now possible to locate a selected dance session on the map! Link.

Good news for those of you who regularly listen to the songs of our dances on Interadio - it is back on the air; you may follow Rubio's voice on-line at Link. lists newly opened dance sessions as well as changes in existing ones. We'll be happy to receive and gladly publish any updates. Link.

The 2011 Karmiel Dance Festival is being planned. Please note the dates, July the 12th through July 14th. You may read introductory words from the CEO of Irgun Harokdim at the following link. We welcome your comments and requests for the upcoming event in Karmiel. Link.

In this month's forums there were several announcements in regard to changes in the dance sessions’ calendar due to the numerous holidays and memorial days. We urge your attention be given to the notes; please update yourselves using the forums and/or at’s scrolling news section. Link.

Dov Orbach wonders, “Is it right, as well as important, that prior to each dance, the instructor mention the name of the choreographer, alongside the name of the dance itself?” There must be a reason for his questioning; not everybody agrees that it is necessary. Some claim that in view of the abundance of new dances, it is next to impossible to remember all the names of the dances, let alone the name of the choreographer. One editor feels differently and finds it a shame that, on the radio, the announcers fail to state include the name of the song's composer/lyricist. Link.

Does the knowing of the story behind the steps of a dance enhance our enjoyment when dancing it? Elad Shtemer recounts the symbolism between the motions of his dance and the lyrics of the song in his dance, Ilan. Please read his story on the Rokdim website: Link.

Dr. Dan Ronen recently published a new book about the uniqueness of the folk-dancing phenomenon in Israel. No report is available at this time. Link.

On the occasion of the spring holidays, videos of several classic dances ( Pa'amey Hamizrach, a Ladino, Toupim , and Tov Lalechet Badrachim) were uploaded to the forum. The clips, performed by renowned groups of the past, include interviews with the dancers. The result was an outburst of nostalgic feelings for the old-time, classic dances. The colorful responses may be seen on the following links: Link, Link.

An interesting question has been raised in Tapuz forum. In couple dancing, how does one properly perform a pivot swing? Is it a matter of muscular strength or physical coordination? Very interesting ideas and suggestions were raised on the following links: Link.

We, at Irgun Harokdim, solemnly bow our heads in honor of Yonathan (Jonathan) Gabay, one of the pillars of Israeli dancing, who passed away this month after a battle with cancer. He left us a treasured legacy of high-quality dances which will be enjoyed for many years to come. Some of the beloved and unforgettable dances created by him are Simchu Na, Tzaddik K’Tamar, Yedid Nefesh, Veshuv Itchem, Od Yishamah, Sham Harai Golan, Sulam Yaakov, and many more. Link.

Information about Yonathan Gabay and his work can be found on the following page of the Rokdim site: Link.

This month, in all the dance sessions, instructors paid tribute to the man and his legacy. You can read Iris' report about the Nostalgia Dance Session in Kibbutz Genigar: Link

May his memory be a blessing.