JTA NEWS
23 April 2018 - 8 Iyyar 5778 - ח' אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ח
JTA NEWS :
Arts & Culture
Artist and illustrator Hadassah Mariadas brings new meaning to Psalm 121 E-mail

A new childrens illustrated book The Song of Ascent: Psalm 121 has been launched from a Singapore based artist and educator in an international School in Singapore.

Hadassah Mariadas was inspired by the Psalm 121 written by King David and wants to reach out to young children about the wisdom of the words and the deepr meaning of the text. Her richly illustrated picture book tells a story within the framework of Psalm 121 of a teddy bear which gets blown away from lavender field in Devonshire, England, travels miles ends up finding a home in Israel. She goes through a myriad of emotions as life throws her into unexpected circumstances that were both beguiling and unpleasant. The little teddy with her balloon eventually overcomes all situations with God’s help in finding a place in a family.

Haddasah’s illustrated book intends to capture the attention span of a young child in order for them to learn something from a story. “Characters in Children’s literature are important to keep them engaged. I chose a Teddy bear with a balloon as my main character partly because every child could relate to this bundle of fluff, the fur, the sweet face and the sentimental value which accompanies each teddy bear. A balloon is an extraordinary object to most children as they float and fly away,” she explains.

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Eitan Globerson conducts in Hong Kong Print E-mail

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) presented Jacques Offenbach’s French opera Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) in late March at the Academy Drama Theatre. Renowned Israeli conductor Eitan Globerson was especially invited to conduct the opera, which was sung in French with Chinese and English subtitles.

Professor Globerson teaches conducting (orchestral) and piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He is also the conductor & music director of the Academy’s Symphony Orchestra. While visiting Hong Kong, he had the opportunity to meet local students and teach some piano lessons.

The great Jewish German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann was the inspiration for Les Contes d’ Hoffmann. His narrative style seamlessly interweaves fantasy and the real world. In the opera, the poet Hoffmann unveils his three tales of unfulfilled love: his fascination for the mechanical doll Olympia, who was destroyed by the inventor Coppélius; his love for the courtesan Giulietta, who prefers the jewels from the magician Dappertutto, and his passion for the doleful Antonia, who is forced to sing to her death by Doctor Miracle. After telling these tales of pathos from his past life, Hoffman receives yet another blow when he witnesses his latest love, Stella, elope with the Councillor Lindorf. This final disappointment extinguishes the drunken Hoffmann’s desire and prospects for love, so The Muse, Goddess of the Arts, compels him to write poems for the rest of his life.

(Issue Apr 2018)

 
Israeli graffiti artists paint in Indonesia with local artists E-mail

Artists 4 Israel (A4I), a team of top graffiti artists, recently spent a month touring Indonesia, home to the largest Muslim population in the world.

According to the organisers, this was the first trip by a group of Israeli artists. They spent many weeks on a mission to beautify urban areas and fight bigotry, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. They also took a stand for women’s rights. The team of artists created towering, building-sized murals promoting tolerance. They also found that at times tolerance was a dangerous topic. “We felt incredibly welcomed by Indonesian artists and the local community – but we were also warned to keep our identities secret in some parts of the country,” said Craig Dershowitz, President of A4I and the organiser of the trip.

“We were beseeched to avoid news stories of our trip to Indonesia until we returned, to make sure we did not wear our branded shirts, to be circumspect about with whom we shared our itinerary, and to never, ever openly share the names of the Indonesians co-operating with us. Our hosts explained that even if our international artists were to come and go unmolested, the Indonesians still had to live there and the consequences of partnering with an Israel-related organisation or a pro-Jewish group could be fatal.”

A4I is used to operating under a certain amount of danger. Its past works have included painting bomb shelters in Sderot in Israel while the town was under rocket fire from terrorists in the Gaza strip, and a guerrilla mural campaign along the wartorn border of Syria.

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