For lovers of the performing arts, there is much to sample in
Tel Aviv. After sunset, when visitors return to their hotel rooms,
bathed and tanned from the sun drenched beaches and swimming pools, or a day of exploring or shopping, it is time to
think about the evening’s entertainment. In addition to a marvelous array of restaurants and night clubs, Tel Aviv is blessed
with first-rate performance options. Based at the Bronfman Auditorium, newly renovated a few years ago, the Israel Philharmonic is part of an arts compounded defined by Dizengoff St. on one side and Rothschild Blvd. on another. “Habimah,” Israel’s national theater, which was renovated and upgraded too, is adjacent to it. Over the years Habimah has staged an eclectic mix of classics and world drama performed in Hebrew, as well as the best works of Hebrew playwrights, and subtitles in English accompanying many of them enable visitors to enjoy the richness of Hebrew theater even if they are unfamiliar with the language.
Performances with subtitles in English, Russian or French are staged at the Cameri Theater.
Drama buffs may also enjoy “Yiddishpiel,” the country’s only professional Yiddish repertory theater, which is based in Tel Aviv. For many of its performances simultaneous translations to Hebrew, English and Russian are available. A special experience is the Nalagaat, in the Jaffa Port compound, a touching mélange of theater, circus, happening and cabaret, an emotional, offering heart-warming productions performed by a cast of deaf-blind actors that draw the audience into realms of darkness and silence. Simultaneous translations into English, Russian and Arabic are available too.
One other troupe of note, the Gesher Theater Company, based at Jaffa’s Noga Theater, is comprised of a mixed group of Russian immigrants and native-born Israelis and has become the latest “darling” of the Israeli stage-loving public.
Drama and music are combined to great effect by the New Israeli Opera (NIO), which is housed at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center on Shaul Hamelekh Blvd. (less than a ten-minute walk from the Bronfman Auditorium/Habimah Complex). The NIO produces seven to eight top quality operas each season and hosts famous opera companies and artists from all around the world. It also serves as a Tel Aviv venue for regular performances by the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Rishon Lezion Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Ballet Company and the Batsheva Dance Company.
Dance is another one of Tel Aviv’s artistic fortes. Both the Batsheva Dance Company with its avant-garde choreography and the Inbal Dance Company with its Yemenite and oriental rhythms are housed at the Suzanne Dellal Center in gentrified Neve Tzedek near Jaffa, where performances take place in a 19th-century school complex that has been transformed into a dance center. Israel’s top venue for dance, the Suzanne Dellal Center is home to a variety of events, festivals and festivities throughout the year. Inspired by the theatrical super-hit “Stomp,” Mayumana adds uniquely Israeli and Tel Aviv elements to its pulsating mixture of music, beat, movement, humor and joy. Like Israel itself, it integrates the contemporary and the ancient, East and West, and chaos and order.
The latest addition to the Tel Aviv dance scene, a new dance center in Jaffa Port, founded by a cooperative of chorographers, hosts original performances of more avant-garde works by both local artists and guests artists from abroad.