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November 20, 2011

Last Dance Company In Jerusalem Open Drapes To Protest Haredim

Dancers Kolben Dance Group Jerusalem Drapes Open Haredi Man Passing By 11-11A Jerusalem dance company will join the series of protests against the exclusion of women from public spaces in the capital by removing the curtains that hide the company's rehearsal hall from the street so passersby will be able to see the male and female dancers.

Dancers Kolben Dance Group Jerusalem Drapes Open Haredi Man Passing By 11-11

Protest against exclusion of women from Jerusalem's public spaces brings dance to the street
Kolben Dance Group joins protest against exclusion of women from Jerusalem's public space, removing curtains veiling company's rehearsal hall from the street.
By Nir Hasson • Ha’aretz

A Jerusalem dance company will join the series of protests against the exclusion of women from public spaces in the capital by removing the curtains that hide the company's rehearsal hall from the street so passersby will be able to see the male and female dancers.

The company, Kolben Dance Group, the last professional dance company left in the city, holds its rehearsals at the Gerard Bechar Center in the Nahlaot neighborhood of downtown Jerusalem, which is home to many ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox people.

Large picture windows were installed in the hall facing the street during renovations a few years ago. However, shortly thereafter, reportedly under pressure from the Jerusalem municipality and ultra-Orthodox residents who also threatened the company's members, it was decided to keep the curtains closed.

The company's advertisements, which show female dancers, have also been vandalized. As a result, the advertisements have had to be without human figures.

"The closing of the curtains was an insufferable blow against our freedoms as well as an economic blow," said Tzafira Stern-Asal, director of the company's school, who thought up the idea.

"The idea is for the public to be exposed to this welcome activity in the center of town. No one has the right to exclude us in this way. All we want to do is open the curtain. Everyone is invited to come and see that this is a matter of culture and we have no reason to be ashamed and hide."

The curtains are to be opened Sunday in a festive event in cooperation with Yerushalmim, the movement leading the protest against the exclusion of women in the capital. The company will perform part of its work "Babylon" by choreographer and company director Amir Kolben.

"This is our home. We aren't going outside, but we want to feel comfortable in our home. After Monday, I hope the decision whether to raise or lower the curtains will be mine. After all, it's just a curtain," Stern-Asal said.

However, members of the troupe are concerned about the aftermath. Only last week, when photographs were being taken ahead of tomorrow's event, an ultra-Orthodox man came to the hall and threatened them, Stern-Asal said. "I'm quite afraid of their response. Many friends expressed their support and said they would come to be with us. I also hope that when something happens and I call the police they will respond," she said.

Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu (Meretz), who holds the culture portfolio on the city council, has come out in support of the event.

The Jerusalem municipality responded: "The city's leadership is unaware of a prohibition against opening the curtains. The municipality makes clear that there is no prohibition against opening the curtains and it has given no such order. The city views the company's activities as important and condemns all violence or vandalism. The municipality will continue to support the company and artistic freedom in the cultural and arts quarter that is developing in Jerusalem."

Protest against exclusion of women from Jerusalem's public spaces brings dance to the street
Kolben Dance Group joins protest against exclusion of women from Jerusalem's public space, removing curtains veiling company's rehearsal hall from the street.
By Nir Hasson • Ha’aretz

A Jerusalem dance company will join the series of protests against the exclusion of women from public spaces in the capital by removing the curtains that hide the company's rehearsal hall from the street so passersby will be able to see the male and female dancers.

The company, Kolben Dance Group, the last professional dance company left in the city, holds its rehearsals at the Gerard Bechar Center in the Nahlaot neighborhood of downtown Jerusalem, which is home to many ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox people.

Large picture windows were installed in the hall facing the street during renovations a few years ago. However, shortly thereafter, reportedly under pressure from the Jerusalem municipality and ultra-Orthodox residents who also threatened the company's members, it was decided to keep the curtains closed.

The company's advertisements, which show female dancers, have also been vandalized. As a result, the advertisements have had to be without human figures.

"The closing of the curtains was an insufferable blow against our freedoms as well as an economic blow," said Tzafira Stern-Asal, director of the company's school, who thought up the idea.

"The idea is for the public to be exposed to this welcome activity in the center of town. No one has the right to exclude us in this way. All we want to do is open the curtain. Everyone is invited to come and see that this is a matter of culture and we have no reason to be ashamed and hide."

The curtains are to be opened Sunday in a festive event in cooperation with Yerushalmim, the movement leading the protest against the exclusion of women in the capital. The company will perform part of its work "Babylon" by choreographer and company director Amir Kolben.

"This is our home. We aren't going outside, but we want to feel comfortable in our home. After Monday, I hope the decision whether to raise or lower the curtains will be mine. After all, it's just a curtain," Stern-Asal said.

However, members of the troupe are concerned about the aftermath. Only last week, when photographs were being taken ahead of tomorrow's event, an ultra-Orthodox man came to the hall and threatened them, Stern-Asal said. "I'm quite afraid of their response. Many friends expressed their support and said they would come to be with us. I also hope that when something happens and I call the police they will respond," she said.

Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu (Meretz), who holds the culture portfolio on the city council, has come out in support of the event.

The Jerusalem municipality responded: "The city's leadership is unaware of a prohibition against opening the curtains. The municipality makes clear that there is no prohibition against opening the curtains and it has given no such order. The city views the company's activities as important and condemns all violence or vandalism. The municipality will continue to support the company and artistic freedom in the cultural and arts quarter that is developing in Jerusalem."

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Should bring some colour and life to the City. This is a bit like gyms in some cities that have their windows overlooking a street. The people exercising would get bored looking at four walls and the view from the street is pretty harmless. It is all about balance here. No one should be provoking too much. Not every urban space is suitable for such displays. (There will not be weekly Zumba classes on the Temple Mount.) This is almost like the cases of public spaces where people do Tai Chi, Boxercise, Walking, Rollerblading and the like.

How will some of the Haredim deal with this though ? Falling into a paralysis of lust on the pavement at worst or a heart attack at best. Oh well, they will survive. Or maybe some bright entrepreneur should invent special blinkers like racehorses wear.

This will certainly lead to mixed dancing...

To really open the haredi eyes they should open up the curtains to the dressing rooms as well!

I'm sure they'll behave as the Haredim always do, in the most extreme and forcefully repressive manner imaginable while the holy enabler rabbis look the other way. It's just a matter of how violent and evil the Haredim choose to behave this time.

Only last week, when photographs were being taken ahead of tomorrow's event, an ultra-Orthodox man came to the hall and threatened them, Stern-Asal said. "I'm quite afraid of their response. Many friends expressed their support and said they would come to be with us. I also hope that when something happens and I call the police they will respond," she said.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm beginning to be in favor of private ownership of firearms - and it's Jews who've made me feel this way.

As they would say, "Nebech".

the bloggers and the newspapers are the one who forced the frum world to deals with this


Just like the they did to the Catholic church and many other abuses that people do

light is the best disinfected

the bloggers and the newspapers are the one who forced the frum world to deals with this


Just like the they did to the Catholic church and many other abuses that people do

light is the best disinfected

Posted by: seymour | November 20, 2011 at 11:17 AM

wrong thread

this was supposed to be for the abuse thread

And I'm sure someone from the slippery-slope method of arguing will posit: "one day, exposed dance school; next day, Yerushalmi body-as-art advocates disrobing on their blogs!"

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4149840,00.html

(and here's the blog it refers to: http://arebelsdiary.blogspot.com/?zx=1e2ac56a6ff47ef6 )

Dancers:
Prepare yourselves for the soiled diaper onslaught.

Load your rifles if you got em. Slingshots with stones if you don't. Guaranteed the neanderthals will attack as if they are the walking dead.

First of all Nachlaot is a mixed area of artists,Carlbach types and yes some Chareidim. But if you announce war on Chareidim and that you are looking for trouble, of course you will find it. Why declare war,unless you have window insurance. It does not make business sense.

There is no business sense, but there is life sense. It is the last moment to take a stand. Soon it will be late. It could very well be already.

What kind of stance. If the area is turning Hareidi,opening the shades wont make a difference. Open a pork store in Boro park with the nicest storefront is worthless. If the customers are not there,than you might as well move.

It will lead to violence from the charisishe yes. the danceers may be hoping to goad the establishment into punishing the hareidshe but that hasn't worked before. still that is the only thing they haven't tried severe and serious and justified punishment over assaults on other citizens for no justified reason.

This will end badly.
The dancers will perform
The fanatics will show up and riot
And guess who the police will shut down?

Posted by: The F-Stops Here | November 20, 2011 at 12:19 PM

really now? that is very tame, and certainly nothing new or shocking for israelis.

Spencer Tunick nude photo shoot at the Dead Sea:
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-casbah/israel-dead-sea-or-nude-beach-video

certainly nothing too over the top, still. looks like a flock of white geese in the distance, no?

And Mazel Tov, to them! The arts are the truest expression of our humanity and one of the things that separates humans from the animal kingdom. If the haredi want to align with the animals and eliminate artistic expression, I know which side I'm fighting for! You can't hide the arts and remain human for very long.

Need: Flash Mob at the intersection of Meah Shearim and Strauss.

Shmarya,

Why you not covering the huge demonstrations and bans against the extreme Taliban women of the shawl.

You can't claim that you don't understand Hebrew. It's been in English on YWN for a while already.

Is it because it paints the rest of haredim in a good light???

huge demonstrations

What, a few people said "Nebech"?

Jeff: "I never thought I'd say this, but I'm beginning to be in favor of private ownership of firearms - and it's Jews who've made me feel this way."

It's like they say, "there is nothing scarier to a Jew than a goy with a gun" ... unless it is a traditional Jew.

The Haskala is being reversed before your very eyes, Jeff. So what are you going to do? Make aliyah and return to shtetl life? Or make aliyah and fight for your people, your nation, your country?

I'm not making aliyah. I'll stay here, thanks.

I would neither visit Israel, nor contribute to it financially, until it disenfranchises the Haredim.

the display window of mixed dancing should be ignored. no good can come from protests.

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