The Merage Jewish Community Center will culminate its annual OC Jewish Arts Festival with the world acclaimed Keshet Chaim dance ensemble on Saturday, November 16, at 7 p.m. The Festival brings together the many facets of Jewish culture reflected in dance and song, film, art and books.
After hosting separate Jewish book and film festivals for many, many years, three years ago the Merage JCC combined its book and film festivals, launching the OC Jewish Arts Festival.
“We wanted to create a spectacular presence in Orange County celebrating the many facets of Jewish culture through music, film, books and dance. The number and quality of events that are part of this year’s Festival is a strong testament not only to Jewish arts, but to our Jewish community’s support of the arts,” said Dan Bernstein, Merage JCC president and CEO.
“The Festival is known to bring unparalleled performances,” added Dana Susson, who has served as Festival co-chair for three years. “Keshet Chaim is considered to be the major professional American-Israeli contemporary dance troupe in the United States and will provide our community with an unforgettable evening of song and dance.”
For the first time the Festival brings a dance troupe to the stage, featuring Keshet Chaim as the closing event. Inspired by Jewish life in many lands and covering a vast span of history, from Solomon and Sheba to the present, Keshet Chaim is influenced by world music, the multi-ethnic roots of the Jewish people and a constant drive for interpreting and exploring Jewish values through art. Offering a rich tapestry of dance and song, Keshet Chaim is a pioneer in the development of Jewish performing arts.
Keshet Chaim invites Orange County to celebrate Israel’s 65th anniversary, with its performance “Colors of Israel.” The troupe will take the audience on a journey, paying homage to the music and dance of the past and bringing us to the more current, contemporary movement that is Israel today.
The company has performed throughout the world, including the famed Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Recent highlights have been performed in Washington, D.C., at the AIPAC policy conference for 15,000 people, the Clipper game at the Staples Center and for ICN-TV, the Chinese TV station, to celebrate Chinese New Year.
“Keshet Chaim’s dance performances are energetic and breathtaking,” said Yael Brudner, the Merage JCC cultural arts director. “The dancers have the unique ability to uplift the spirit and tell the story of Israel and all its colors through dance and movement. The OC Jewish Arts Festival wanted to bring a big name to culminate a spectacular Festival. We are honored to have Keshet Chaim as our closing event!”
One member of Keshet Chaim is singer Gilat Rapaport. Born and raised in Israel, Rapaport has been performing professionally on stages in Israel and around the world since the age of 12. Rapaport’s career began with classical training at the Tel Aviv Conservatorium and continued in Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music branched in Boston.
Touring in places like South America, South Africa, Australia, Europe and the U.S., Rapaport has been bringing her own unique sound and talent to many Jewish and non-Jewish communities worldwide. Her warm and powerful voice, her electrifying presence and her charisma enhance people’s deepest feelings and bring them to life.
Israeli choreographer Kobi Rozenfeld has developed new works for Keshet Chaim performed at Disney Hall, The Kodak Theatre, Paramount Studios and even as part of a PBS television special. Recent choreography credits include Beyonce’s 2009 World Tour, a workshop with Britney Spears, So You Think You Can Dance – Israel, the musical show in Legoland Amusement Park, and teaching master classes at the Broadway Dance Center in New York. Rozenfeld has been teaching master classes throughout the US and Europe and recently directed and choreographed the new musical, “Barbie Live” which will open in Singapore September/2013 and proceed to a full year International tour.
Making the OC Jewish Arts Festival 2013 possible, special funding was provided by the Doris H. & Milton J. Chasin Cultural Arts Endowment and the Merage JCC Cultural Arts Patron Circle.
Further information about the Festival artists, Keshet Chaim, is available at: www.JCCOC.org, www.kcdancers.org. Purchase tickets online for Keshet Chaim and the various 2013 OC Jewish Arts Festival 2013 events at www.JCCOC.org.
Keshet Chaim will perform in the Myers Theater at the Merage JCC. The theater is a 500-seat state-of-the-art theater.
OC Jewish Arts Festival events will all take place at the Merage JCC. Located on the Samueli Jewish Campus in the hills of Irvine, the Merage JCC serves more than 3,100 member families, welcoming both Jews and non-Jews alike. Boasting an onsite preschool and day camp, fully-equipped theater and art studio, state-of-the-art fitness and aquatic center and the fourth largest JCC gymnasium in North America, the JCC is the hub of Orange County’s dynamic and fast-growing Jewish community, offering programs, classes and events for all ages. To take a tour or for additional information, call (949) 435-3400, One Federation Way, Irvine CA 92063 or visit www.JCCOC.org.
OC Jewish Arts Festival 2013
Thursday, October 24, 7 p.m.
Author: Ron Balson, Once We Were Brothers
Wednesday, October 30, 12 p.m.
Lunch event with author Naomi Ragen,
The Sisters Weiss
An Evening with Matisyahu
Saturday, November, 2, 7 p.m.
Join us for an up-close, acoustic performance by world-renowned Jewish reggae superstar Matisyahu. Hear “One Day,” “King Without a Crown” and other hits in a unique, intimate setting.
Tuesday, November 5, 7 p.m.
Author: Mark Cohen, Overweight Sensation:
The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman
Festival Featured Event
Wednesday, November 6, 7 p.m.
Marcia Clark, Killer Ambition
Wednesday, November 13, 12 p.m.
Cookbook Luncheon with Kristine Kidd
Gluten Free – what everyone is talking about!
Sunday, November 3, 4 p.m.
Film Committee Favorite:
Disobedience – The Sousa Mendes Story
Tuesday, November 12, 7 p.m.
Kaddish for a Friend
Thursday, November 14, 7 p.m.
Dorfman in Love
Sunday, November 3, 1-3 p.m.
JCC Cares: Great Reads and Good Deeds
Join us for a fun family afternoon and give the gift of reading to children in need. Bring a used book to donate to a local organization and help us promote literacy and the love of reading. Children will enjoy fun storytelling sessions and have a great time doing book-related Mitzvah projects.