Festival Hatzafon returns to YEG to celebrate Israeli dance: March 17

Festival Hatzafon 2020 will be celebrated on March 19 in Leduc at the MacLab Centre for the Performing Arts. Advance tickets are available at Talmud Torah School.

(EJNews) – As the weather slowly changes we are reminded that not only are Purim and Passover around the corner but so is Festival Hatzafon!  Festival Hatzafon, which literally translates to “Festival of the North,” started eight years ago as a showcase of Israeli dance talent.  The Festival is a true celebration of Israeli culture and local art that is sure to entertain community members of all ages and affiliations.  Festival Hatzafon has proven to be and continues to be a true collaboration of different Jewish and community organizations.  It unquestioningly provides a unique opportunity to bring people from many diverse backgrounds together.

The Festival, this year themed ‘Ima Adamah’ or Mother Earth will return to ATB Financial Arts Barn, Westbury Theatre on Sunday, March 17, 2019.  The performance, which is full of song and dance, will commence at 3 pm but guests are urged to arrive early to enjoy the fun atmosphere in the lobby.  The lobby doors will open at 1:30 pm and you can enjoy a small nosh at our concession stand, take pictures at our photo booth and let your little one create a fun craft!  Additionally, please consider purchasing a Mishloach Manot bag for your loved one or as a way to congratulate your dancer after the show!  They will be on sale in the lobby for $10 dollars a bag.

This year we are pleased to welcome Linda Ozromano, a Turkish Jewish photographer whose work “is shaped significantly by her social conscience and her engagement with social and cultural issues.” She will be showcasing a photographic exhibition called ‘Grandmother’s House.’  This series explores topics of “heritage, hyphenated identity and sense of belonging.”  You can find more information at www.lindaozromano.com   Surely, this is not to be missed.  Our lobby will be full of a series of wonderful events – a little something for everyone!

The show’s main performance will include the talented Aviv Dancers and teen groups Mayim and Shemesh with many new numbers as they continually expand their repertoire.  The show will also feature Israeli Circle Dance as well as the younger elementary school dancers from Rikud Academy who are sure to delight.  A special singing appearance by some of the grade three and four students from Talmud Torah will add a special touch and a unique accompaniment to one of the dances.  We are also extremely happy to announce that Beyachad from Winnipeg will be joining our show this year.  What a wonderful way for our dancers to build relations and experiences with other dancers from around the country!  We are so lucky to have a talented group join us this year at our festival.

The Aviv Israeli Folk Dance Association began as only a handful of adult dancers meeting once a week at the JCC.  It quickly evolved to become a multigenerational, nondenominational dance program exhibiting a polished, professional style and continues to offer recreational circle dancing twice weekly. The goal of the Aviv Israeli Folk Dance Association is to spread peace, tolerance and understanding to as many people as possible.

The Rikud Academy came into being when Aviv Israeli Folk Dance Association’s Founder and Artistic Director Sari Uretsky Leung recognized a need for Jewish youth to unite and engage in an educational and physically stimulating dance activity.

With the advent of Rikud Academy at Talmud Torah, the school halls have been filled with Israeli music and dance, both traditional and modern. The students’ enthusiasm often carries over into their recess time where they can be found on the playing field practicing their newly acquired Rikud Academy dance skills. The dance classes have not only provided a social outlet for Jewish youth to connect but, as with any fitness activity, have also contributed by expanding their education and improving their general well-being. We certainly enjoy seeing our former Talmud Torah students returning as assistant Rikud Academy teachers who pass on their love of Israeli dance to younger students. Talmud Torah is proud of our Rikud Academy Israeli dancers and is excited to invite our school community to support our students at Festival Hatzafon by attending the show!

We would like to take a very important moment to thank the volunteers who have been working tirelessly to put on an event of this magnitude.  Your time and commitment are very appreciated.  Furthermore, without the support of our generous sponsors our Festival Hatzafon would not be possible.  The Aviv Israeli Folk Dance Association and Festival Hatzafon would like to thank NCJWC Edmonton, Hawkstone Physical Therapy, General Recycling, The Jewish Federation of Edmonton, Witten LLP, Panes Window Manufacturing, The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy Meadowlark, Boucher Entertainment and Firehouse Graphics.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  Thank you.

Tickets are available for purchase at festivalhatzafon.com or the Talmud Torah School office for $20.   For more information please feel free to contact us at festivalhatzafon@gmail.com.  We look forward to seeing you at the show!




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