Gad Elbaz: An Israeli in Paris

Kudos to Gad Elbaz, the Israeli singer, for lighting up the streets of Paris in song, dance and joy. Mr. Elbaz released his video, Hava Nagila, on March 15, 2015, just over two months after the inglorious attacks against life, free speech and free religion at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, and at Hyper Cacher, the kosher supermarket. This is also the same day that Hyper Cacher reopened for business since the attacks.

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Thousand Hand Bodhisattva (Guan Yin) (千手观音)

A friend from France sent me this fascinating and inspiring video. She has never given me a bum steer, so I took a look before attempting to translate the forwarded message from French into English. It said [and I don’t vouch for the spelling or grammar], in part :

Il y a en Chine une danse extraordinaire qui s’appelle “Guan Yin aux Mille Mains.” Etant donne le degré de coordination requis, l’exécuter parfaitement serait extraordinaire, même si ces danseuses n’étaient pas sourdes.

Oui, vous lisez correctement, les 21 danseuses sont complètement sourdes et muettes.”

The choreographer, Zhang Jigang, holds the rank of Lieutenant General in the Peoples Liberation Army of China.

This dance was performed in 2004 at the closing ceremonies for the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, Greece. That’s right. The Paralympics.

As the email said, all 21 members of the dance troupe are sourd … deaf.

Flatpack: An IKEA Opera

The opera “Flatpack” sets Swedish furniture names to song while it poses the musical question, “What is domestic harmony?” It “explores issues encountered in everyday modern life and how our consumer decisions and domestic interaction with others are indicators of more profound life choices and personalities.” Performed live by Mammoth Music Theater at IKEA Wembley for four nights (June 2, 3, 9 and 10, 2009), it features four singers accompanied by a cello, piano, accordion and percussion, with a cast of actors and dancers dressed in traditional IKEA yellow and blue.

“Flatback” was composed by Tom Lane. The IKEA Wembley production was directed by Rebecca Lea.

See Also:
Ikea’s In-store Opera Shows Drama of Home Assembly [Advertising Age; June 4, 2009]