Blank (Stockholm, Sweden) is a choreographer, dancer
and teacher who grew up in Poland.
He studied choreography and folk dancing at the Internationella
Folkdansgillet i Norden in Sweden.
He has researched the Jewish dancing traditions as well as the dance forms
of Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece
He has taught Jewish and other folk dances in a variety of schools and
institutions in Sweden
for over 30 years. He has performed and led workshops in Jewish dance at
the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival (1997-2004), in Vienna,
Paris, and at several festivals in Sweden and Finland. His choreographies
include Fiddler on the Roof for Scala Teatern, Stockholm
and Chassidic Dances for Judiska Centret in Stockholm. He has also collaborated on
dance programmes for the Swedish television. Leon Blank's desire to
preserve Jewish dance forms as a living tradition that can be enjoyed by a
wide public and to diversify the Jewish dancing repertoire has led to his
new project Jewish Dances to Klezmer Music. It will include a
programme of dance workshops and performances in Stockholm and the production of a
Deborah Gzesh (Vienna, Austria) is an actress, singer and
arts manager. Born in Chicago, she attended New York University School
of the Arts, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and graduated in Theatre
Arts from Hunter College, New York. Together with her Austrian musician
husband, she toured the former USSR
as a singer at numerous jazz festivals, and in 1989 joined the Serapions
Theatre Ensemble in Vienna, remaining there
for twelve years, performing in Europe and Israel. Most recently she
created and performed Ariira, a children's theatre piece staged in Vienna and at the 2004 International Korczak Theatre
Festival in Warsaw.
Her project The Bound Man will be developed in collaboration
with the Finnish actor and director Kari Rakkola. Their play is based on
the writings of the 20th century Austrian Jewish author, Ilse Aichinger.
The spectacle draws on visual theatre techniques and live music.
György Kozma (Budapest, Hungary) graduated in art history from
and holds a master's degree in Jewish studies from the Central European
University, Budapest. He is a writer, journalist and cartoonist
as well as a playwright and actor. His work for stage and screen includes
collaborations with the Gyor National Theatre, the Film Academy
(directors: Janos Xantus, Can Togay, Gusztáv Hámos, Sándor Söth), Jeles
Theatre, University Theatre and Vidam Szinpad. A substantial part of his
written work deals with Jewish themes, especially his family history. His
books include History of Budapest
Cabaret 1880-1980 and Nijinsky, the Golem. Kozma's
project Herzl: The Fugitive is a a present-day version of Herzl's
comedy, which will be staged at Vidam Szinpad Theatre in Budapest, Herzl's place of birth.
(Cambridge, UK) is a playwright, poet, author
and member of the Cambridge University English Faculty. Her poems and short
stories were published in a number of anthologies and she is the author of
many articles on art and literature. She has written reviews for The
Times Literary Supplement, Cambridge
Quarterly and the Jewish Chronicle. She was awarded an Arts for
Everyone Lottery award and a grant from the Cambridge University English
Faculty for her play Davka, which was staged at the ADC theatre by
the Chutzpah Theatre Company. Her new project Seeing the Light
is another collaboration with Chutzpah. The play is set in 17th Century Amsterdam and London,
and commemorates the resettlement of Jews in England in 1656. It deals with
race, religion, persecution, exile and immigration through its main
protagonists Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel, Rembrandt and Oliver
Cromwell. It will be staged at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge.
Manuelle Lotz (Paris, France) is an actress and theatre
director. Her first production for the stage was the World's Memory
by Italo Calvino with the Cafarnaum theatre company in 1999. She has also
directed The Patient by Anca Visdei. Her most recent play is an
adaptation of Peter Diener's novel The Diary of a Mad Woman
which explores Holocaust memory and the tension between the pain of
remembering and the temptation to forget. The play will be staged at the
Theatre Déjazet in Paris
and on tour in Vésoul, Meaux and in schools in the Franche-Comté.
Nicola Mascia (Berlin, Germany) was born in Turin, Italy
where he trained in classical dance with Loredana Furno. He later trained
in contemporary dance in Turin and Rome, and at the Tramaine Dance Centre in Los Angeles. He has
lived and worked in Berlin
since 1996. His collaborations with Sasha Waltz include Allee der
Kosmonauten, Zweiland, Na Zmlje, Dialogues. He has also worked with
Emio Greco and Benoit Lachambre. He has danced with Korper, noBody and
Insideout. Mascia's video installation No more cookies for you, sir
(produced in collaboration with Sampson Zaharkiv) was shown at
Choreographenwerkstatt in 2001 in Berlin.
Matan Zamir is an Israeli born dancer who trained with the Kibbutz Contemporary
Dance and the Bat-Dor Dance schools. In 1996, he joined the Batdheva Dance
Company. He has worked with many Israeli theatre directors such as Omri
Nitzan (New Israeli Opera), Itzik Weingerten (Habima) and choreographers
Yasmeen Godder, Inbal Pinto, and Rami Be'er. Since 2002 he has been working
with Sasha Waltz, Junko Wada and Hanayo. Under is a spectacle
which addresses questions of identity and belonging. The first part will be
created by Mascia and Zamir and the second by the award-winning Israeli
choreographer, Yasmeen Godder.
Schvarzstein (Barcelona, Spain), was born in Buenos Aires
and studied theatre in Israel,
mime in France and
commedia dell'arte in Italy.
After working in opera and in theatre as actor and director's assistant to
Dario Fo and Graham Vick, he has specialised in street theatre. His
spectacles The Bed and the The Green Man have been performed
at many festivals. Since 1999 the two plays have been in the repertoire of
the Belgian-based Circus Ronaldo. Schvarzstein won the special prize for
outstanding actor at the Haifa Children's Festival, Israel
1998. Klezmer Circus has been inspired by Chagall's circus
imagery and by photographs of shtetl life as well as by klezmer
music. Schwarztein's collaboration with the circus artist Perla Ovitz is at
the centre of this project, which draws on the history of her family of
circus and cabaret performers in Transylvania
before and during the Second World War. Klezmer Circus recreates the
joyful wedding celebrations in a small Jewish community. It will be
performed at Ateneu de nou Barris in Barcelone.
Jiri Srnec (Prague, Czech Republic) is an author, director,
composer, designer and actor., who graduated from the High
School of Applied Arts,
the State Music Conservatory and the Puppet and Scenography Department of
the Academy of Arts in Prague.
He is the founder and artistic director of the Black Light Theatre in Prague and it is under
his leadership that the company gained world wide fame, performing in 68
countries around the globe with plays such as Timewalker - The Legends
of the Old Mother Prague and other works seen by more than 3 million
viewers. Srnec's latest project Franz Kafka's Aphorisms
addresses hidden messages of the work of Kafka and projects the writer's
thoughts onto the contemporary world. The show will be a fusion of dance,
music, puppetry and black light theatre to be performed from June 2005 in a
theatre hall only a few hundred metres from where Kafka was born. After a
two-year cycle of performances in Prague,
the play will tour abroad.
arts: music composition
Amit Arieli (Florence, Italy) was born in Israel. He studied clarinet,
composition and electronic music at the Cherubini State Conservatory of
Music in Florence.
He debuted as a composer with Divertimento in Re, performed by the
Conservatory's orchestra at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. In subsequent years, Arieli
dedicated himself to chamber music and wrote a series of compositions which
were performed at the Open Music Group of Today (GAMO) of Florence, the Music University of Vienna,
and the International Music Weeks of Pratovecchio. In 1997, Arieli founded
with singer-actor Enrico Fink, the group Lokshen whose aims are to
research and disseminate Jewish music in Italy. For Lokshen, he composed
a series of musical shows, revisiting Jewish musical traditions and
reinterpreting them. His shows received critical and popular acclaim in
hundreds of venues ranging from city squares to prestigious theatres and
festivals, including the Berlin
and Venice Jewish Festivals and the Ancona Klezmer Festival. They were
recorded with Lokshen on two CDs. In 2003, the Nessiah Festival of Pisa commissioned the
writing of New Freylachs, and a reinterpretation of traditional
Sephardic and Ashkenazi chants for clarinet, voice and orchestra which were
performed by the Adar Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Andrea Gottfried, and
performed by Evelina Meghnagi (vocals). His most recent composition for
clarinet and orchestra, Hassidiah, was performed at the 2004 Summer Music
Festival of Bertinoro. Arieli's previous awards include Best Original
Composition at the Safed Klezmer Festival in 1998. Amit Arieli was awarded
an EAJC grant for New Old Klezmer to be performed at a series
of concerts around Italy
and recorded on CD by Ethnoworld (Milan).
Omer Arieli (Vienna, Austria) was born in Israel and studied at the Cherubini
Conservatory in Florence, the Rubin Academy
of Music in Tel Aviv and the University
of Vienna, where he now
lives. He is a teacher, composer and conductor. His works have been
performed at many festivals including Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago,
Kammeroper in Vienna and Magio Musicale
Fiorentino in Florence.
In 2002, Omer Arieli was awarded the Belvedere Prize in Vienna. He is the author of some thirty
arrangements of liturgical and ethnic songs (Klezmer, Mizrahi, Ladino) and
Israeli and Palestinian folkdance music for a number of singing and
instrumental groups. His compositions have also been performed by the Music
University of Vienna, the Milan Conservatory, Austrian radio (ORF), the
orchestre Nessiah in Pisa and the Centre
Halevi in Vienna.
His new work Yaakov, a composition for one solo singer,
eleven instruments and a children's choir, tells the story of Jacob. It
will be performed in June 2005 at the auditorium of the Jewish Museum of
Vienna in the framework of of the Festival Jüdische Festwochen.
Lubomir Denev (Sofia, Bulgaria) is a composer and conductor
who studied at the State Musical Academy
He began performing as a jazz pianist and composer with his own trio at
several music festivals all over Europe.
He was the conductor of the State Musical Theatre Stefan Makedonski from
1977-86. Since then Denev has been a free-lance composer and conductor
working with the best symphonic orchestras in Bulgaria including the
Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra. He has recorded with the Greek National
Orchestra and the Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra. His work has been
performed in Europe and beyond. A
television film devoted to his work The Music I Make was made by
Bulgarian National TV in 2000. Most recently, Denev was awarded a
composition prize by the Festival Intersonanzen of Potsdam for Playing
with the Wind. Devev's chamber opera Cain is based on
Lord Byron's work on the biblical theme of sacrifice and redemption. Cain
will be performed at the Jewish Cultural Centre in Sofia.
arts: exhibitions of new work
Monika Bulaj (Lombardo, Italy) was born in Warsaw
and now resides in Italy.
She is a photographer, journalist, documentary scriptwriter and
anthropologist. Her photographic work has appeared in newspapers such as Gazeta
Wyborcza, La Repubblica, Courrier International and in a number
of books published in Poland
Her solo photographic exhibitions have been shown in countries such as Poland, Bulgaria Italy and Hungary with collective exhibitions shown in
Albania, Serbia, Macedonia
and South America. God's People, a
journey through another Europe (from the Baltic to the Black
Sea) will include some 60 photographs with text,
alongside a DVD projected on the big screen. It will depict Jewish presence
and spirituality in the neglected, lesser known Jewish communities of Eastern Europe and their co-existence with other
ethnic and religious groups. The exhibit will be shown in Rome at the Polish Institute, Palazzo
Blumenstihl in October 2005 and will tour several other European cities.
Silvia Dzubas (Berlin, Germany) was born in Berlin, the daughter of Holocaust
survivors. After witnessing the Prague Spring in 1968, she emigrated to the
West. Her work has been shown in many galleries in Berlin,
Her love of life and freedom is translated in her strongly emotional art
through vivid colours. Ladder of the Sky is a series of works
(acrylic and pigment on canvas), which explore the theme of heaviness and
lightness. The exhibition at the Moses
in Halberstadt will open in November 2005 and will be accompanied by a
discussion forum on the theme of the Jewish heritage of Eastern and Western Europe.
began working as a photo journalist in 1978. His work has been published in
Lada, Nasha Rodina, Bulgarian Telegraphic Agency, Literaturen Front and
Demokratsia. He has been influenced by thw work of
Henri-Cartier-Bresson and the Lithuanian school of photography. His
interests lie in architecture, theatre and cinema and, more recently, the
life of Jewish communities. His project The Street consists
of 100 colour photographs on Jewish life in Bulgaria, past and present.
Sujo (London, UK) was born in Buenos Aires. He has lived and worked in London since the early
1970s. His one-person exhibitions have been held at the ICA,
of Modern Art, Oxford,
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas and Northern
Centre for Contemporary Art, Sunderland;
his work has also been shown in many collective exhibits. Sujo's works are
held in many public collections incl. the British
and Albert, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Israel Museum,
He is also an art lecturer and curator. Sujo's time at Haifa University
as guest artist and lecturer, and as an associate lecturer at the Bezalel Academy,
inspired his new project Germinations and other works.
This exhibition will include etchings, drypoints and acquatints celebrating
the diversity of plant life in the contested strip of land in Israel stretching from the Golan Mountains
to the Negev desert. Germinations
will be exhibited at the West London Synagogue in London,
the University of Northumbria Art Gallery in Newcastle
and at the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem.
Harald Wolff (Paris, France) was born in Berlin
where he studied at the High
School of Art.
He has lived and worked in Florence, Haifa, Schleswig-Holstein and Hum (Slovenia) and is currently based in Paris. His work has
been shown in many galleries: Arts and Crafts in Berlin,
Museum Haus Check Point Charlie in Dresden
and Galerie Mediart in Paris.
His work has been acquired by several public collections including the
Fonds National de l'Art Contemporain in Paris. His work is distinguished by
vigorous line drawing combined with suggestive and diffuse use of colour. The
Twelve Tribes is a collection of 12 oil paintings on the theme of
dispersion, transmission, inheritance and the Promised Land to be shown at
the Gallerie Christof Horschik in Dresden
in June 2005.
Films and Documentaries
(Barcelona, Spain) is a director of short films and videos (La Hora Sin Sombra, Over the Line, Sara
Take II, Beiad Chazaka) and has produced and directed art reports for
Channel 2 of Israel (program: Kartis LeShnaim). From 1995 to 1997 he
headed the Video Department at the Jerusalem.
He produced and directed a report for the Israel Television commemorating
the sixtieth anniversary of Walter Benjamin’s death at Port Bou and
participated in the planning of the Fourth International Jewish Film
Festival of Barcelona. Since July 2003 he has resided in Cologne,
writing and preparing the shooting of a film about the circumstances of the
death of Walter Benjamin in the Catalan town of Portbou in 1940, entitled Who
Killed Walter Benjamin… Besides the production of this documentary,
he has been working on other proposals for The Netherlands, Israel and Spain,
such as the publication of a book about the circumstances of Benjamin’s
death in Portbou (Editorial Inédita, Barcelona,
2005) and the editing of a documentary film provisionally entitled Terezin/Theresienstadt, Between the Fisfus
and the Repetition.