Art of the state

Israel Festival reschedules for September

Annual Jerusalem cultural event moves online, but hopes to welcome some live audiences; program will also include this year’s Jazz Festival

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

The 59th Israel Festival, originally scheduled for June, announced its lineup of artists and events for its new dates, September 3-12, emphasizing a “show must go on” attitude for the annual Jerusalem event that celebrates local and foreign performances.

“It’s not that there’s no life without culture — culture is life,” said director Eyal Sher in a statement. “Having the festival take place under these unknown conditions that change from moment to moment is a challenge. But along with the medical tragedies, social distancing, economic collapse and political realities, we see a deep importance in preserving our cultural work for our society and our communities.”

Sher said he hoped they would be able to hold the events in September with an audience, and according to appropriate health regulations for the coronavirus.

Each event will be recorded and shown on the Israel Festival website, along with interviews with the performers and other content relating to the festival.

The Israel Festival performances will be held at the Jerusalem Theater, with classical music events at the Eden Tamir Center in the Ein Kerem neighborhood and other performances at a new location, a cultural center recently set up in the former Rav Chen movie theater in the Talpiot industrial zone.

The new complex will house the School of Visual Theater, Machol Shalem Dance Company and dance troupe Between Heaven & Earth, turning the unused, commercial cinema complex into a center for the various groups.

The festival is also joining forces with the annual Jazz Festival that is run by the Israel Festival team, but usually takes place in December.

Trumpeter and artistic director Avishai Cohen at the Jerusalem Jazz Festival in 2015 (Courtesy Yossi Zwecker)

The Jazz Festival events will take place between September 8-10 in the sculpture garden of the Israel Museum and in the galleries of the museum, which is expected to reopen over the next few weeks.

Performers at the Jazz Festival will include its artistic director Avishai Cohen, along with Tamir Muskat, Dudu Tassa, Mark Eliyahu, Noga Erez, Netta Barzilai with her brothers, Rona Kenan and others.

A full schedule of the Israel Festival events and tickets is available online at the festival website.

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