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Contemporary Dance Festival:

May 3, 2010

Dance Festival Website

From April 19th -May 8th there is a Contemporary Dance Festival going on in the West Bank (Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem) and Jerusalem. There are dance groups visiting and performing from all over the world including USA, France, Norway, Tunisia, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, and more.

Last night I went to a performance that included the dance group “Leyya Tawil’s Dance Elixir”  and the group that is the organizer and owner of the Contemporary Dance Festival, Bottega, from Italy. It ended with a performance by Amal Khatib, a student at the Sireyyat Ramallah Dance Group.

My favorite performance was Bottega. Their style was hip-hop breakdancing with a little bit of ballet influence. They were breakdancing to Opera music–it was actually a really amazing combination. There were two women, who had the more ballet style of dancing and two men who were excellent breakdancers.

They ended with one of the men performing a dance as “Handela” (Handela is a cartoon character that is very famous in Palestine, it is a little boy who you can only see his back, and his arms are always crossed behind his back–He represents the Palestinian refugee, he was made a refugee in 1948 when the Palestinians were driven out of their homes so Israel could be established, and he never grows up, he remains the same age until he can return to his home) to an Arabic song that had Palestinian poetry about the land in the background. It was very powerful.  And he did the entire dance with his back to the audience, including breakdancing and stalling. It was amazing and the crowd loved it.

There are just a few performances left this year, but they will be back again in 2011.

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