כתבה: Israel 2010: A Whirlwind of Israeli Dance
הזכויות על כל הנשלח לאתר הן של ארגון הרוקדים.
בלחיצה על לחיץ "אשר" הנכם מאשרים כי תגובתכם נכתבה בשפה ראויה ובהתאם לחוק
A highlight of our trip this year to Israel included the opportunity to dance at several venues. Arriving on Friday February 19th, we were able to get to the beach the next day and enjoy the first few hours of dancing on the blacktop behind the Renaissance Hotel in Tel Aviv, aka “Hatayelet.” It was a bright and beautiful day with a large crowd strolling, playing volleyball and paddle ball. What a great way to begin our vacation!
Monday evening we went to Batya Kronenberg’s session at Country Club Migdalay Tel-Aviv in Nachalat Yitzhak. My wife had discovered Batya’s group a few years ago when she and four friends came to Israel on an IDF tour - that’s the Israeli Dance Fanatics. The group came and danced in 7 different places in 9 days! My wife, Jani, thought I would enjoy Batya’s session, too. Upon arrival, we were surprised to get a 1 shekel discount for coming as a couple. Batya was visiting her son in NY that week, but her protégé led the session with easy to follow instruction, despite our limited knowledge of Hebrew. Sivuv, regel yamina, we followed the movements pretending to understand the words. The instruction for beginners began at 7:30 and was a good warm-up; the room rapidly filled with more experienced dancers as the evening progressed. The gym facility was quite nice, well lit and with a seating area of grandstands for those who preferred to watch. What was especially nice for us was the intermediate instruction that began about 8:30. We were able to enjoy some of the circle and couple dances and the couple dance instruction, too. We left at 10:30 PM, as our arranged taxi driver was there to take us back to Yafo.
The entry from my travel diary for Thursday, February 25 reads: Tonight was a special treat as Harry and his dance partner, Vered, picked us up in Yafo in the driving rain to transport us to a session in Ra’anana. They kindly covered our admission, and we entered a gym where there seemed to be more than 200 couples dancing, something I had never before experienced. I stepped back and my wife was immediately asked to dance; she danced all three partner sets during the evening, a very unexpected and pleasant surprise for her. This was totally opposite to what we had expected. “If you do not bring a partner you won’t get a partner.” Or so they say. Jani is sure the rain had something to do with the fact there were more gentlemen without partners that evening. Whatever the case, she was not complaining. They played many couple dances which were familiar, but I never realized how many dances my wife knew. As somewhat of an advanced beginner, I managed to participate in more than a dozen of the circle dances, and enjoyed watching everyone the rest of the time. The Thursday Ra’anana session is usually run by Yom-Tov Ochayon, but this evening there was a substitute Markid, Roni Siman-Tov. He announced our visit from Philadelphia and as requested, played some of our favorite dances. The program was flawless; had we not been told, we would never have known of the change. We were warmly greeted with logo T-shirts and caps by members of the Irgun HaRokdim. There was coffee and tea available all evening, and a special treat of trays of hamantaschen in honor of Purim. The facility was superb with a very large dance floor and grandstands and a powerful, multi-speaker, well balanced sound system. For an added treat, there was a special appearance by Tuvia Tischler, one of Israel’s well-known choreographers; they played several dances he had choreographed. We don’t go anywhere without my wife recognizing someone she has met before; sure enough, she recognized Riki, who had danced with us in Philadelphia just this past year while on sabbatical there.
During a break, we were able to chat with Adi about dance sessions in Israel and the US, and to describe our experiences with dance camps in America. The evening flew by and soon it was 1 AM; yet the dance floor was filled until the very end. Luckily for us, the rain had cleared, and the drive back to Yafo was much more pleasant. We had a marvelous evening and were grateful for the wonderful reception. The hour was the latest we had been awake in years but well worth every minute.
The following Saturday we taxied to the Country Club in Holon to visit and dance with our friends Dani and his wife Ofra. We had been there last year, enjoyed the afternoon session, and looked forward to dancing there again. They started with several familiar circle dances, and found that we could easily follow those that were new to us. After 90 minutes, there were a few line dances, which was followed by a 30 minute partner set which Jani and I enjoyed as a couple. This Holon dance session has a rotating set of markidim; that afternoon, the Markid, Yigal Triki, played a half dozen partner dances we knew and requested. Several dancers had come in Purim costume, a delightful added touch. The Markid, too, seemed to be straight out of the Russian Army with his uniform costume. One dancer, dressed as an angel, managed to keep her halo and wings on straight the entire time. The room at the Country Club facility is part of a larger complex that includes indoor and outdoor pools and a café. You need to be a member of the club, or a guest of a member to enter. Thanks Dani.
Our plane back to Philadelphia was scheduled for 5 AM on Tuesday morning which gave us one more evening to dance. We happily returned to Batya’s session to find her back from New York and leading an energized session. We learned a new circle and couple dance and thoroughly enjoyed the evening from 7:30-10:30. No sleep that night, as we took a 2 AM taxi for our early morning flight. On our way to the airport, we began to plan where we would dance on our next visit to Israel.
Anyone have any new suggestions?