Between Heaven and Earth (Bein Shamayim La'aretz)

“Between Heaven and Earth” (Bein Shamayim La'aretz) is a Jerusalem cultural center. The center generates a new interface between Judaism and contemporary culture in general and contemporary dance in particular.

Location: Jerusalem
Year founded: 2008

Description

“In Israel, a nation marked by divides everywhere, a slender peace is being brokered between the religious and secular in an unexpected arena, contemporary dance…an astonishingly intense dance, 'Highway No. 1,' with movement, costumes and sound score taken from Jewish religious practice…" (Janice Ross, New York Times)

“Between Heaven and Earth,”(Bein Shamayim La'aretz) is a Jerusalem cultural center established in 2008 that is dedicated to the interface between Judaism and contemporary culture in general and contemporary dance in particular. The center provides training, artistic mentoring and technical production support to young artists who are partners in the creation of this artistic inter-sectorial dialogue resulting in provocative, fresh new interdisciplinary works that draw audiences across the religious and secular spectrum - a unique accomplishment in Jerusalem.

The premise of our work  at "Between Heaven and Earth" is that art is created out of given social and cultural contexts and at the very same time has the potential to change society and culture  through the very nature of its production and exposure to audiences. We see the diversity and divides within Israeli society as a fertile ground for innovative and unique art.

Over the past few years, a deep change has taken place in the heart of Jerusalem: Secular students are making the city their home in greater numbers, and as a part of that are channeling their creative energy to engage deeply with the city. At the same time, a new generation of religious artists is emerging, and through expression in diverse media, they are making an important contribution to the creative scene in Jerusalem.

This renaissance is strengthened by the artists' desires to create challenging, earnest, progressive art in discourse with the cultural, historical, and spiritual depth—as well as the tension and complexity—that Jerusalem embodies.

We are active in a field composed of people with diverse desires, life-styles, and opinions. We are committed to intercultural exchanges through the arts, combining the holy with the  profane, the traditional with the contemporary, east with west,  the earthly Jerusalem  with the heavenly Jerusalem.

"Between Heaven and Earth" center is bringing together the different parts of Israel - religious and secular, old and new, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem - parts that usually don't engage with each other. The center creates a multi-cultural dialogue between those different parts and brings the religious sector to meet the secular contemporary dance community and vice versa.

"Between Heaven and Earth" also seeks new connections between creativity and Jewish tradition. The center produces contemporary dance events, an annual cultural festival, original productions, performances and workshops in Israel and abroad.

Activities of the center include:

The Ka'et ensemble - a cooperative dance group of men whose artistic director is Ronen Izhaki. Every year the group works with a well-known Israeli choreographer.

"Kol Atzmotai Tomarna" - dance school for men. The school has several programs - professional and communal.

"Between Heaven and Earth Festival" - An annual dance festival fosters a community of emerging as well as experienced members, and provides the main platform for the Israeli interface between contemporary dance and Judaism.

Inter-disciplinary art project - inspired by the topic being studied in the weekly “Beit Midrash” for artists - includes annual group visual art exhibition and events taking place at the exhibition space.

Young Artists Cooperative

About

"Between Heaven and Earth Festival" fosters a community of young creators as well as seasoned members, and hold the annual "Between Heaven and Earth Festival" which is the main platform for the Israeli interface between contemporary dance and Judaism.

The core of the program is training, guidance, production and being a home for young artists who are partners to the creation of the artistic inter-sectorial dialogue.


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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The purpose of the program is to hold and develop Israeli and Jewish discourse among the culture agents of the future in the world of
contemporary dance. 


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Program Description

Artistic platform composed of contemporary dance young artists who are interested in developing their relationship and having a dialogue with the Jewish bookshelf.

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Demonstrated Need

The chosen group of young artists is having an opportunity for creation in good and welcoming conditions:

  • Artistic guidance
  • Content guidance
  • Technical and production support
  • Advertising and PR
  • Theater rent
  • Small creation grants

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Program Accomplishments

The annual "Between Heaven and Earth Festival" will be happening this year for the 6th time, and is being funded with the help of the Ministry of Culture and the Jerusalem Foundation. Each year we can see growth in amount of artists who are interested to take part in the festival and the community it creates and growth in number of audience attending the various shows.



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How do you measure the success of your program?

Generally our goal is to expand audience. This goal is relatively simple to measure – from number of tickets being sold to a show, through the number of students in our school, and even the number of likes and shares on our Facebook page.

We can definitely say this goal is successfully achieved and is
progressing each and every day.

Still, we have a long way to go. There are people who are not yet familiar with our doing and should, young artists we would want to foster, auditoriums we dream to fill, school we aspire to expand and give an appropriate response to every need and claim.


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No grants received yet

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