(EJNews) – Festival Hatzafon is a true community endeavour that started five years ago as a showcase of Israeli dance talent and has now become a series of wonderful events with something for everyone! On March 16 and 20, 2016 Festival Hatzafon returns to Edmonton with a program that is sure to entertain community members of all ages and affiliations.
“Celebrating our 5th year of this annual Festival we get such a thrill when we hear about the effect it has had on the dancers and the audience alike,” says artistic director Sari Uretsky-Leung.
The festival (translates as Festival of the North will showcase dancing and singing this year while bridging the collaboration of a few different Jewish organizations.
Says Leavitt-Wright, “Last year, we introduced a complementary movie in partnership with the Edmonton Jewish Film Festival. This year, on March 16, we are excited to screen the movie ‘Hava Nagila’ thanks to the generous sponsorship of Ericksen Infiniti, not to mention free popcorn included in the low ticket price.
“Even more exciting is a surprise local connection to the composer of this tune, a relation to Trevor Horwitz who will begin the evening with a short talk. Bringing this movie to Edmonton’s west end at Scotiabank Cineplex will make it easier for our community to come out and support the event.”
This year’s festival has the unique theme – Dancing with the Stars of David and it will feature a variety of dance performances on March 20 that begin at 3 pm at the ATB Financial Arts Barn, Westbury Theatre. Guests should arrive early to enjoy the red carpet atmosphere in the lobby. An Israeli Circle Dance will be held at 2 pm and kosher concessions will be sold in partnership by NCSY and BBYO kids. Visitors can also take a commemorative photobooth photo at no extra charge and even pick up a kosher mishloach manot to give to friends and family at only $10 a piece.
“Each year we seek a unique theme for the dance show and this year will be sure to entertain you as well as educate you about famous Jewish entertainers,” explains Uretsky-Leung. The afternoon show on March 20 will also include some local singing talent with both Sean Sonego and Rachel Kondor taking to the mic! AVIV, Mayim and Shemesh dancers are very excited to launch new choreographies that were learned with Ohad Atia who was brought in from Israel this past fall and new costumes that were purchased with the help of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton.
“We know that our festival has had a broader reach into the general Edmonton community,” adds Leavitt-Wright, “and we’re thrilled to be recipients of a CIP grant this year, allowing us to continue to entertain and educate Edmontonians in leaner economic times.”
It takes many volunteers to put on events of this magnitude and this year has been no exception. “We have had many come forward and feel that this also allows more people to be part of the action and help us ensure to carry a quality event forward.”
“We have strived to make our cultural art form accessible and provide a unique event that continues to build bridges within and extend them outside of our community and we’re proud that over 5 years we have managed to do so,” concludes Leavitt-Wright.
“We hope that people will come out and support ‘Festival Lots of Fun’ as there are many dancers and organizers who have been volunteering their time to make this all a wonderful success.”
Pre order tickets to be sure to have a seat at www.festivalhatzafon.com
You can pre order DVD’s, dancer flowers and mishloach manot as well. Proceeds support Festival Hatzafon and AVIV Israeli Folk Dance Association. Combination tickets for both the movie and the dance performance are also available.