Monday, May 29, 2006

Hafachta misp’di l’machol li”—Song and Dance in New York City remind me of last year in Jerusalem

Last summer, my husband and I went Israeli folk dancing in Israel twice, both times in Yerushalayim, and heard some wonderful folk-dance (and other) music at an outdoor concert.

This year, I got a reminder.

Here’s the long story:

This year, I decided not to go folk dancing during Sefirah until after Lag B’Omer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really work for me, and I’ll probably try something different next year. For better or for worse—okay, obviously for worse—folk dancing is just about my only form of exercise, at this point, and I simply can’t afford to forego it for an entire month. So next year, I’ll go folk dancing during Sefirah even before Lag B'Omer, but I’ll refrain from hanging out in a corner and freestyling while dances that I don’t do are being played.

(Sometimes, I’m just too lazy to learn really complicated dances. Other times, especially in partner dances, the turns are a problem. I joke with my husband that he married a dizzy dame—the older I get, the more prone I get to dizziness. This is not such problem in most circle dances, as one can often skip the turns, as long as one ends up on the same foot and heading in the same direction. But it’s really not possible to skip the spins in partner dances, which is why I rarely do partner dances anymore, much to the Punster’s dismay—he complains that he’s the only guy who shows up with a partner and still has to find someone else to dance with.)

Ahem—that’s the long story. Here’s the short story: I went to Ruth Goodmans's Wednesday night Israeli folk dancing session at the 92nd Street Y last Wednesday night for the first time since the beginning of Sefirah, and the minute I heard this song and saw the dance, I was transported in memory back to last summer in Jerusalem, where the Punster says that we heard it sung at that HaTractor performance.

Neither of us ever really mastered this dance (too many turns for me; not enough practice for the Punster, as it’s a dance from the late 1990’s that’s no longer done very often), but it sure is fun to watch and to listen to. Just click here, scroll to the bottom of the page, and enjoy watching some fine dancers at play. (Note that the video works only if you have iTunes, according to my husband). (Shomrei negiah alert: Mixed dancing.) And here are the lyrics, plus some information about the songwriters, singer, and choreographer.



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