What is New this month? A Summary of September on the Forums|
Written by Givaa Tlula; Translated by Dov Gilor
There were many holidays in September and several festive dance sessions were held prior to the New Year. Unfortunately, many dance sessions had to be cancelled because of the holidays. Dror and Florence used an organized table on the Dancers Association web site to update the dancers about all of the holiday changes. Thanks go to both of them!
Now, "after the holidays" there is a period of brand new dance sessions and dance events especially for beginners. This is an opportunity to increase the number of dancers! The list is long. Details are available at:
They are also listed on Yaron Meishar's web site:
And, of course, on the Dancers Association web site: Link
In the spirit of the New Year we wonder if the dancers need to beg forgiveness from the dance instructors. If they do need to, for which transgressions shall they ask; for complaints; for requests? Read about it here:
Steps and Words: Is there any correlation between the dance steps and the words of the song? Yes, there is. There are many examples of this. Connect to the following sites and see for yourselves:
Entrance fees are raised again. The entrance fee of the dance sessions at Tel Aviv University have been raised to 29 NIS. This brings up the argument as to whether or not the entrance fee a function of the dance session. Is it a reflection of the specific costs for the instructor, the hall, music, refreshments, etc.? Are the entrance fees competitive? In other words, each dance session fee is determined by the specific conditions of that particular session. The dancers can choose where to dance. Or does the fee need to be uniform? The dancers will vote by their selection of a dance session. Or not. The Ada East has reopened this issue and reminds us of the previous strike. The reminder is timely and perhaps the discussion should be expanded? Time will tell.
What is the dumbest question asked about folk dancing?
Are shouts of encouragement and joy at dance sessions pleasing or annoying?
There are those who enjoy the exuberant shouting and there are those who find it annoying, because they want to hear the music and the choreographer. It would seem that as long as the enthusiasm is tasteful and not too loud, it is acceptable. Otherwise it should only be done only at a Kibbutz:
Is Facebook replacing the forum? Many forums that dealt with folk dancing have been inactive for a long time. This includes Horatanu, Sabras, Barboor, Nirkod, and Bimcholot. Is Facebook the reason? Or is it just that the site creators and users have grown tired? Facebook is a welcome addition because of the use of pictures and the video clips. Yet there is no doubt that it impairs the writing; it cannot replace the forums with their articles and their user-friendly response mechanisms. It is also not possible to summarize the Facebook content. The question is, "Can we restore the glory of and rejuvenate the various forums, each with its own unique characteristics.” It is hard to know:
Iris reminded us that Rachel, the poet, reached her 120th birthday (if she were still with us.) Several beautiful dances were choreographed to her lovely songs: Lecha Ve'Alyicha, Hatishma Koli, Sham Harai Golan, and Shai. These dances are precious possessions, exactly like her songs. Some dancers have embellished the poet's work and other works on their own. You can read about Rachel on Tapuz:
We also commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of Yehuda Amichai creator of Le'Orech Hasdera She'Ein Ba Ish and Habalada al Ha'se'ar Ha'Aroch Ve'Ha'Sear Ha'Katzar.
This month also had several enthusiastic evenings of folk dancing. One such event was held at Gadi Biton’s session at the University. He organized a tribute or a salute to the founders of Israeli folk dance. Among those honored were the following choreographers, choreographers who have influenced the character of folk dance and created its basic structure: Moshico Halevi, Yankele Levy, Eliyahu Gamliel, Yehudah Emanuel, Amnon Shauli, Chaim Shiryon, Shoshana Kupelewitz, Raya Spivack and many others. It was a very emotional event. You can read Iris' article about this very special evening and view pictures of it on Gadi's web site: Link
And also on Tapuz: Link
Another very emotional evening of folk dancing took place at Rafi Ziv's dance session in Nes Tziona. The entire Givatron choral group sang. It was a marvelous and inspiring performance. Among the songs they sang while the dancers danced were: Emek Sheli, Bat Shishim, Givah Achat, El Haderech, Ma Shehaya Haya, Shirim Ad Kahn, and a medley of Russian songs, etc. This special dance session is described in:
Many dancers, choreographers and dance instructors came to encourage and to express their appreciation for the dances that continue to excite us. As Itzik Kanan said, “The dancers and the dances contribute to the preservation of the songs.”
There really is a strong, steady, and mutual bond between "Yam Hashibolim” and "Givah Achat.”
Of course, for those who could not attend, there is a video clip produced by Edwin, the dancing photographer, which captures the atmosphere. Link
You can read about Rafi Ziv and his dance sessions in a new feature of the Irgun Harokdim web site titled, "Markid B'Naalei Bayit.” This features a personal interview with a dance instructor. The first interview was with Rafi Ziv.
This exciting interview was initiated, edited, and written by Adi Chabad. The article, by the way, was also published in the local Nes Tziona newspaper.
The Dance Session of the Month on Tapuz forum is the one featuring Yoram Sassoon in Mevaseret. Many things were expressed about this unique dance session that shows how it is different from other sessions. Although, it is rather small in numbers,
it was great (large) as far as its ambiance! Hora Eilat reminded us again of this, and many of the veteran forum members agreed as they added their positive comments. The posts reminded us of previous posts which contained very interesting discussions.
The emphasis of this discussion was on the participants in the dance sessions. There were many younger people, and not just in spirit, who danced enthusiastically. There were 20-25 year olds who danced and knew the dances of every period: the oldies,
and ones more recent and the newest ones of every style, including debkas, horas, fast dances and nostalgic dances. The session lasted until the wee hours of the night, with Yoram usually dancing in the center, and everyone singing and holding hands.
It seems that Yoram has the correct approach to attract the youth into the circle and to keep them there.
The dance session concentrated on circle dances; maybe this is what the youth like or maybe it is because these dances are more energetic and appropriate for the youthful dancer. As a result, a question arises, should today's dance sessions be designed to attract a specific group?
For example should a session be for just women, or just circle dances, or just couple dances? Or, is the main idea to have everything in one?
Another issue raised in the same thread was whether the reports on the dance sessions are 100% accurate or if there is some exaggeration. Members of the forum "swore" that this time it was all accurate:
Yoram Sasson's dance session in Mevaseret Tzion is worth a trip of even 170 Km! I loved the post about the dance session and it convinced me.
While no pictures are attached to the post, there are pictures and video clips on Yoram's website posted by forum members who attended:
Are videos of folk dances legal? Do they contribute, or do they actually detract? Today, whether legal or not, it is impossible to prevent their existence. Many videos, not necessarily professionally prepared, are uploaded from dance sessions. More and more videos are uploaded to YouTube and are easily placed in forums and on Facebook. Do the videos help dancers, or do they perpetrate errors? Everyone agrees that it is better to show dances with errors than to not show them at all. Progress cannot be stopped. There are many technical methods that just have to be properly utilized. Yoav Sidi raises another interesting point; these videos help increase the number of dances because they document many dances that would otherwise be forgotten. On the other hand, Yoav, you can view the dance before learning it and decide whether or not it is worth the effort to learn. If the dance is not interesting, the dancers will remain seated and will vote against it by not dancing.
The videos are not meant to replace the dance sessions or the instruction, but rather they document and store the dances and occasionally correct mistakes which were learned during the dance session. The videos also convey the ambiance of the various dance sessions and enable us to witness how the original choreographer taught the dance. This view was argued by Parpar Tzahov, who is still keeping her age of 24. Nissim Ben Ami, who has videoed many sessions, argues in summation, that every video he uploads to YouTube involves a great deal of effort. He is very conscientious; he first sends the video to the choreographer, investigates and checks, and only then uploads it to YouTube. Many dancers thank him for his great efforts. Yashar Koach!
Still, for the purpose of documentation, we must still write down the steps. This discussion and other items can be read at the following link:
We have had successful dance marathons: by Gadi Biton
and by Rafi Ziv
That's all there is for this short month.
Looking forward to seeing you in the circle during October- a month that will be filled to overflowing with dance sessions and dances!