Elude the post-holiday blues with wine, song and dance
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Elude the post-holiday blues with wine, song and dance

Cultural events ease the transition as the country goes back to school and work

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Color People from Olaf Breuning's 2009 series, at the HaUman studios, part of Manofim (Courtesy Olaf Breuning)
Color People from Olaf Breuning's 2009 series, at the HaUman studios, part of Manofim (Courtesy Olaf Breuning)

The return to the year’s regularly scheduled programming is just around the corner; no holidays await — with the exception of Thanksgiving, for American celebrants — until mid-December. For now, it’ll be just work, school or whatever comprises your usual routine.

Thankfully, the end of the Jewish holiday interval also means the true start of the year, so to speak, when Israel’s fall season of art, music, theater, dance and anything else cultural gets started.

So if you’re feeling down about the return to regular life, do not fret; there’s enough going on to offer plenty of distraction. Take a look at what we have lined up in the next couple of weeks.

1) The Dead Sea Rave Festival, or -424, is an international electronic music all-nighter on Thursday, October 23. Headlined by French DJ David Guetta, along with Dutch trance music project Dash Berlin, Dutch electronic duo W&W, Iranian-American DJ Deep Dish and British trance DJ Paul Oakenfold, there will be some 20,000 people at the festival, including tourists from Europe, Jordan and Egypt. This ain’t no opera, it’s a party 424 meters under the sea. Or as Guetta says, “When 20,000 people feel like one, that’s special.” -424, October 23, sunset to sunrise, at the foot of Masada mountain.

2) The end of October always brings Manofim, an annual week of art in Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, galleries, museums and spaces throughout the city. This year, the week-long event that begins on October 23 will emphasize the neighborhoods of Talpiot, Mishkenot, Jaffa Road, East Jerusalem, the Seam (the area between East and West Jerusalem) and Nahlaot.

One particular series of events worth registering for is on Friday, October 24, when 26 HaOman Street, a building that houses a garage, tire shop, carpenter and bookbinder, as well as several artists’ studios, will host a combination of activities, including an animation workshop at the bookbindery, a painting class at the garage, tours of the tire factory and several other events. For more information and a full list of participating galleries and events, go to the Manofim website.

A Japanese tea ceremony, another event coming to Jerusalem as part of Japanese culture week (Courtesy)
A Japanese tea ceremony, another event coming to Jerusalem as part of Japanese culture week (Courtesy)

3) Seeking some Asian influence in your life? Hit up Jerusalem’s Japanese cultural festivalOctober 19 through 25. Created to celebrate Israel’s growing relations with Japan, it’s an opportunity to taste some sake, try your hand at calligraphy, or screen a Japanese film. You can also fold origami, garden a bonsai tree, sing karaoke and work on your sumo wrestling, and it’s all free. The festival will take place at cafes, restaurants and community spaces along Emek Refaim, at the First Station, the Cinematheque and the Israel Museum, and entrance to all events are free. Check here for a full schedule, and the Cinematheque for screenings.

4) Okay, last two Jerusalem events. Head to Mahane Yehuda and barhop among five watering holes on two different days to see members of the c.a.t.a.m.o.n. dance troupe perform. Vertigo alum Elad Schechter, who founded the group’s Second Company of younger dancers, started his own Jerusalem dance company c.a.t.a.m.o.n. because he felt the holy city needed a more active dance scene. Now he’s bringing his dancers to the streets of the shuk on October 20 and 27.

Right near by, at the Gerard Behar Theater, the all-male, religious dancers of the Ka’et Ensemble (the name is taken from Psalms), will be performing in the Heaven and Earth Festival, October 27-30, as part of Manofim (see #1). Go to the Gerard Behar website for tickets and more information.

5) Not everything in one’s cultural life is free. If you want to taste some wine, you could do so at home, or at Tel Aviv’s Tasting Room, the grandiose but oh-so-tasteful wine space with its own automated pouring system and smart cards in Sarona, the former Templar community that offers a high-end market approach to dining out. The venue is managed by former Saslove winemaker Roni Saslove, and there will be Friday afternoon wine tastings beginning October 17 at 1 pm, where NIS 50 will net you a plate of cheese and a glass of wine or beer. On Sunday, October 19, Saslove, the sommelier, will run a refining sense workshop at 7:30 pm, two hours of tasting and sniffing with cheese platters and snacks. NIS 180 per person, or NIS 300 per couple. Go the Tasting Room website for more information and reservations.

The fine wines of The Tasting Room at Sarona (photo credit: Ran Biran)
The fine wines of The Tasting Room at Sarona (photo credit: Ran Biran)
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