Cal State Northridge, Performing Arts Center
Presented by: The New Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge
In honor of the state of Israel’s 50th anniversary, the New Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge presented the Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble, “Rainbow of Life”, an American-Israeli dance troupe together with David De’or, a unique, highly-talented artist direct from Israel. Together, they performed a world premiere of “Jerusalem, A Mystical Journey” on Saturday, February 21, 1998 at 8:30 P.M. (patron’s reception following concert) and Sunday, February 22, 1998 at 2:00 P.M. and 7:30 P.M..
This magnificent 40-minute dance-theater piece was an exploration into the depths of Jewish mystical thoughts that portray Jerusalem as the Universal Center of Divine Creation. The piece was supported by custom designed costumes, lighting, original music and images and a pre-recorded narration by Frank Sinatra Jr. which was incorporated interactively with the dance in a continuous flow of rhythm and motion. This collage of dances brought to life mystical texts that span over 5,000 years. The audience was transported back in history to scenes found in Talmudic, Biblical and Kabalistic literature, from the cosmic boom of Creation to the present; they shared in the creation of man and experience the indecision, anger, pain and acceptance of Abraham as he was commanded to sacrifice Isaac. The Temple rose and fell as waves of emotion sweep those who witness the power of Jewish thought and ideals. The internal struggle of the Jewish People was put on trial as the dancers dissected the most compelling aspects of Jewish evolution: the Diaspora and the Holocaust. The State of Israel was reborn once again - this time on stage. An exuberant finale will bring people of the world together to deliver the message of Jerusalem.
To compliment this piece, Keshet Chaim brought David De’or, one of Israel’s premiere singers, with his band to join them on stage. David opened the program with selections from his Internationally acclaimed repertoire and made special appearances throughout the dance piece. David De’or possesses a voice with a range of three and one half octaves, reaching the high notes of a contra-tenor and dropping to the depths of a baritone.
Also in conjunction with this special event, the audience members were treated to a special exhibit in the Performing Arts Center lobby gallery entitled “Theodor Herzl and the Pioneers Israel”. The exhibition highlights the life of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism and the early pioneers of the State of Israel. The showing contains photos and authentic artifacts of the pioneers who affected Israel’s history between 1882 and 1948.
This production was funded in part by the Milken Family Foundation, the Stringer Foundation, the Jewish Community Foundation, the Hillel Council at Cal State Northridge, The University of Judaism, The Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles, The National State County Partnership and The California Arts Council. The performance was presented at the New Performing Arts Center in the University Student Union complex at Cal State Northridge.