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June 10, 1988 - Image 60

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-10

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Troupers

Continued from preceding page

ners. The men in the group
have all been recent arrivals
26076 GREENFIELD at LINCOLN
from Israel.
968-1100
LINCOLN CENTER
Originally all female, the
troupe decided after learning
"couple dances" at workshops
that it was time to go out and
look for potential partners.
The men in the group have all
been recent arrivals from
e
ii,_
Israel.
_„,e 0«\
- - .,
io,
By attending Hora Shalom
,,,soes ,
0
each year, the troupe became
BUY ONE PLAIN WAFFLE OR ONE
40° 3
a factor in putting Detroit on
PLAIN OMELETTE ONLY WITH
the
folkdance map, Jackier
3 GREAT LOCATIONS:
26505 NORTHWESTERN HWY.ISOUTHFIELD TOAST & JELLY . . . GET ONE .. .
says. Three years ago a juried
29556 ORCHARD LK.IFARMINGTON HILLS
festival in Boston inivited
NEAR 13 MILE
VALID MONDAY THRU FRIDAY
Hora Aviv to participate. The
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J
FRANCHISES AVAILABLE IN SELECTED AREAS
group has since returned to
the Boston festival, has ap-
peared twice in Cleveland,
and attends the Ann Arbor
International Festival.
"We've also been to the In-
32734
Your Hosts,
ternational Festival of Paris
Grand
River
Larry & Mimi
— Paris, Michigan," Green-
1/4 Mile East
Freedman
baum points out. "It's a pro-
of Farmington Rd.
In The
minent festival, and as a
OPEN 7 DAYS
Village
Mon.-Sat. 9-9
result of our appearance
Commons
Sun. 10-8
there, we received a real
Mall
• Continental Breakfast
honor, an invitation to appear
• Variety of Sandwiches
PHONE
in Spain — the real Spain.
• Chili • Soups
Unfortunately, we couldn't af-
471-DAWG
• Salads • Desserts
ford to go."
DINE IN OR CARRY-OUT
The group dances regularly
rcouPoN1
at the Northland Interna-
tional Festival each year and
now puts on annual concerts
each spring, which, in addi-
tion to its social
engagements, helps offset the
costs of costumes, sound
equipment, and travel ex-
penses. "None of the dancers
makes any money," says
Jackier. "It all goes back in-
to the troupe."
JN
Other states provide com-
1 COUPON PER PURCHASE • EXPIRES 6-30-88
munity financial support for
new cultural projects, Green-
baum points out. "Unfor-
tunately, that's not the case
in Michigan."
"However, we must add that
the Jewish Community
Center has given us a roof
and space for our practices
and performances:"
In performance, flora Aviv
has two goals: to educate and
to entertain. The history of
Israeli folkdance is in-
teresting because it is a mere
40 years old, Jackier says.
"Yet its roots are in the Bible.
We believe it's important to
educate and demonstrate for
both Jewish and non-Jewish
audiences?'
Greenbaum says that Hora
Aviv is committed to bringing
DS
Israeli folkdance to interna-
00 SO
tional dance festivals and to
making sure that the Greater
15: e :PGN 1% 0 AGE SOMM0
Detroit Jewish comunity is
GOOk PUPS) *Ott
COOP
JN
JJN
represented.
F3'
CA-0,141,0-
Jackier adds that the group
- 'POSSO
OS
PON OVISONG
will
continue to exist to make
OPP
FRED
\I °le°
%
sure
that the "beautiful,
;
°els
Vi
cultural side of Israel and the
contributions of the Jewish
people are sustained" in this
country.

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60

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 1988

Shelly Jackier, bottom right, and her Hora Aviv dancers take a breather
from rehearsal.

flora Aviv's spring schedule
included performances at the
Builders Show in March and
at the Southfield Civic
Center's Annual Interna-
tional Festival.
The Festival Dancers are
celebrating their 21st year, a
very unusual event for a
Detroit dance company. In
contrast to the diversity of the
individuals who have danced
with Hora Aviv, the Festival
Dancers have a profile all
their own:
The troupe's artistic direc-
tor Harriet Berg describes the
typical Festival Dancer as "a
mature woman, who probably
danced in college or profes-
sionally. With older or grown
children, she is still in-
terested in the art of dance
and in the act of performing
and has found few other
outlets in Detroit for her
creative dance abilities."
Six women, all 30 and
above, make up today's
Festival Dancers. Most take
two to three classes each
week, in ballet, modern
dance, or jazz, taught at the
Center or elsewhere, in addi-
tion to the group's weekly
rehearsal on Thursday.
There's no room for slacking
off, according to Berg. "Since
our major focus is
choreography and repertory,
everyone is expected to keep
up a required level of techni-
que."
During those 21 years
Festival Dancers has
undergone continual changes.
Most of the dancers stay with
the group one to five years.
"We are very proud of the
women who have 'graduated'
from Festival Dancers and
have gone on to make their
contributions in other places,"
Berg says. One former dancer
now has hew own company in
East Detroit. Another is head
of the dance department at
Oakland University. A third

Festival Dancer alumna went
on to become a Feldenkreis
body therapist. A fourth has
moved to Albuquerque and
began a Festival Dancer
chapter there. Meanwhile, the
group's assistant director,
Margo Cohen has been with
Festival Dancers for 15 years.
erg, herself, is well known
in Detroit dance circles and
has been a dance instructor at
the Jewish Center for nearly
30 years. Trained in dance at
Wayne State University, she
directed the WSUdance
workshop in the 1940s and
1950s.
Both the Festival Dancers
and flora Aviv have had a
number of inquiries from
Christian groups for perfor-
mances and instruction. This
season the Festival Dancers
have put together a new pro-
gram entitled, "From The Bi-
ble To Broadway," a portion of
which they performed in
March as part of a Sunday
morning service at the
Nativity Episcopal Church in
Birmingham.
The entire Festival Dancers
show was taken to a number
of different nursing homes in
the community in mid-March.
The group also performed for
the Jewish Parent's Institute
at the Maple/Drake Jewish
Center in April and took its
show to a Hadassah luncheon
last week.
"We really pay our own way
from the money we make
from our performances," Berg
explains. "We are basically a
self-supporting group in
residence at the J.C.C., which
provides us with our rehear-
sal space."
The troupe prides itself in
keeping alive the Jewish
ethnic heritage, and, like
Hora Aviv, structures its
repetoire around the Arabic
and Yemenite, the Eastern
European, and the modern
Israel Sabra dances.

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