Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ashkenaz Festival 2010 in Toronto (1): 3 Dance and Music Performances

Posters and Signes at Ashkenaz Festival 2010 in Toronto

¿In which part of the World you can experiment Jewish culture without feeling you are not part of it? Aside of New York and (maybe) Israel itself, almost everywhere in the world Jewish communities are closed to other eyes, and that's it. Well, not in Toronto. 

Jews are a very strong community here and also a very active one. Just months ago there was an impressive Jewish film festival with a large quantity of Jewish-subject and Jewish-made films, and every September the whole city celebrates Jewish Culture with a festival called Ashkenaz Festival or Festival of New Yiddish Culture (as it was called in Yiddish). During more or less an entire week there are theatre performances, music concerts, dance performances and lessons, parades, a market fair, painting exhibitions, lectures, and religious ceremonies with a relevant openness to non-Jews that most of us have never experimented before.

Jewish artists and celebrities from all over the world come here for the festival and party and talk with everyone who wants to listen to or dance with or learn from, and that is simply amazing. 

So I tried a little bit of everything and I had many surprises. I'm sharing some photographs of every spectacle and there is a video or audio when I could record something. Of course the final event, the parade, is what I wanted to show in this theatre Blog but it will be at the next post, for now the three first performances.

Yiddish dance lessons

Very surprised how Avia Moore managed to teach a 20-minute Yiddish Dance to almost 60 people; the music by Mike Winograd Band was very enjoyable, funny and cheerful.

Yiddish Dance Lesson at Toronto Ashkenaz Festival 2010 from Gustavo Thomas on Vimeo.

A celebration of the Havdallah, the final ceremony of every Shabbath when religiosity and seriousness mix with a klezmer night party. Here the whole ceremony recorded in 4 tracks, it is very enjoyable but long, if you are patient you'll find how surprising and amazing it is the change of music style through the religious chants of the first ceremony to the joyful music at the end when the Shabbath has finished. If you are in a hurry, then listen to the 3rd track where is recorded the moment of the change of music I am talking about.

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