20 November 2019 - 22 Heshvan 5780 - כ"ב חשון ה' אלפים תש"פ
Arts & Culture
Tel-Aviv ready to host 2019 Eurovision Song Contest E-mail

The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will take place at the Tel-Aviv Expo Exhibition Ground, Israel, from 14 to 18 May. This will be the third time the contest will take place in the country, after 1979 and 1999. Israel has participated 42 times since its first appearance in 1973.

Israel was chosen to host the contest after local singer Netta Barzilai won last year in Portugal with Toy, propelling her to international stardom. The winning country customarily hosts the event the following year.

It will be the 64th Eurovision Song Contest. The first Semi-Final will be held on 14 May, the second Semi-Final on 16 May and the Grand Final on Saturday 18 May. The show will be hosted by Israeli celebrities Bar Refaeli, Erez Tal, Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub. During the three-day competition, musicians and artists from more than 40 nations will be performing.

Pop superstar Madonna will make a guest appearance at the event. Concert promoters Live Nation Israel and the singer’s US representatives confirmed reports in Israeli media that she will perform two songs in TelAviv during the three-day Eurovision competition.

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Gandhi’s grandson visits Israel E-mail

Dr Arun Gandhi visited the Jewish state for the first time as part of a promotional book tour in March. His best-selling book, The Gift of Anger: And Other Lessons From My Grandfather Mahatma Gandhi, has been translated into many languages, including Hebrew.

During his visit, Dr Arun Gandhi gave a lecture at Habima Theater in Tel-Aviv. His grandfather, Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi, is one of the most famous people in world history, who inspired freedom and civil rights movements across the world. Dr Arun Gandhi followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by advocating the concept of “non-violence”, sometimes perhaps crossing the line of what is seemingly acceptable by suggesting that Israelis talk too much about the Holocaust.

The book, written by the 84-year-old sociopolitical activist, describes his time living with his grandfather in India for two years between the years 1946-48. The author talks about the 11 most important lessons of his life, intertwined with personal stories about his time with his revered grandfather.

“I wrote the book reluctantly because I did not think anyone would be interested in my childhood lessons. But obviously I was wrong because it has been translated into more than 30 languages. It means people have found something that resonates with them. As a writer, I would want readers to absorb every lesson that I have shared, but readers have their own minds and they absorb what they find important to them,” he told Ynet news.

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The Dodot Ensemble perform at the 2019 Manila Improv Fest E-mail

Israel joined the best acts in improvisational theatre from around Asia, and around the world, bringing the Dodot Ensemble to the 2019 Manila Improv Festival. Now in its fifth year, the festival ran from 27 to 31 March at the PETA Theater Center, Manila.

Well over 20 shows featured over 50 performing groups from Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Colombia, France, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, Venezuela and the Philippines.

The Dodot Ensemble, consisting of Matan Goren, Tal Zolti, Carmel Neltzer and Elad Yishay, was formed four years ago after its members won the “Improvisation Championship” of Israel and graduated from the Kibbutzim College Acting School. Their act at the Manila Improv Festival was their first appearance in the Philippines.

The troupe was easily one of the crowd’s favourites, and the members shared their “secret” in doing an impressive improv act that could draw connection and laughter from the audience.

“We concentrate on what’s happening and on each other. We always strive to make each other look better and not think too much about what will be funny or what will be interesting. Just be in the moment, react and it’ll come,” said Tal in an interview after their performance.

“Every rehearsal we have different shows, different characters; it really depends on what the crowd gives us. If they say the setting is in a hospital, then our whole story would be in the hospital.”

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