The North of Israel (the Galilee finger Zone, the Hula Valley, and the Golan Heights) is home to disparate Ethnic and religious communities: Palestinians Muslims (Sunni) Arabs and Christian Arabs, Syrian Druze, Circassians, Sephardic, Ashkenazi Jews and more. Coexisting within a world of political tension and conflict, these neighboring communities interact only at a distance. Despite their common geographical and historical bonds, they remain wary of each other’s existence. The tension and underlying estrangement between these groups is a dominating facet of everyday life in the region
By focusing on prayer – a form of communication that transcends cultural limitations and yet is culturally specific in its bodily techniques and practices – the current project seeks to facilitate a new socio-cultural dialogue. It asks to study the ways in which knowledge is produced and circulated within and between societies and communities. Within the project, each local tradition will be represented by a given community member. Through the lens of culturally unique forms of liturgy, each person will tell a story that touches upon ethnic and political identities, spatial belonging, ethics, heritage, traditions and innovations, namely, the boundaries that define and separate the communities as people but are nonetheless common to humanity. Combining contemporary composition, choreography, storytelling, video and audio documentation with historical, ethnographic and ethnomusicology research, the resulting interdisciplinary work and accompanying field school will allow for a melting-pot of cultures, languages and mediums, out of which, hopefully, a new cultural and social understanding will be forged.
At moments of great distress or joy, people reach out to find something bigger then themselves, to bring them beyond the current moment into a timeless experience. This urge often takes the form of a prayer. When praying, a person faces the world by connecting with oneself and through this connection, understands something larger than oneself. It is an act of moral and conceptual introspection, allowing time to slow down, or to stop, allowing attention to flow inwards. Through such acts, an individual can express one’s own intimate relationship with a personal notion of the divine, channeling in it one’s trust and doubts, awe and love, acceptance and protests. While culturally specific in form, prayer is nonetheless a broadly human action, a primal cry of the heart.
One could find a prayer as a form (technique) of knowledge that moves across time and space in ways deeply influenced but not entirely determine by social power relations. From acting to soccer, from martial arts to ballet, from battling to lovemaking, the development of new embodied technique continually demands new mappings and understandings of the body. Every area of technique has its basis in the materiality of human embodiment, including our capacities for rhythm, vocalization, movement, empathy, imaginative play, and vastly more.
The music for the project will be based on various recitation traditions, as practiced in the region of Northern Israel. In the initial phase of the project, composer Dániel Péter Biró will research these various recitation traditions. Via musical composition, the composer will investigate how various recitation traditions can connect and inform one-another in terms of musical and semiotic meaning across various recitation and musical traditions. Integrating members of a professional vocal ensemble with members of local communities, the music composition component of the project will set out to trace the sounds of local sacred spaces and how these connect to the choreography of movement and stories within these communities.
Collaborators (in progress) Songs and Borders is an international collaboration project, which brings together artists, intellectuals and people from Israel, Canada, Germany and Norway.
Supported by and in collaboration with The Clore Center for the performing Arts (IL), The Pais Lottery Foundation (IL), The Ministry of Sport and culture in Israel, The Choreographers Association (IL), Zygota Productions
Choreography Michael Getman
Director / Dramaturgy Hishman Fadel Sulliman
Script Writer Muataz Abu Salah (tbc)
Research & Composing Dániel Péter Biró
Singers Neue Vocalsolisten
Production Zachi Cohen
Technical Director Ofer Laufer
Web design & Video editing Idan Herson
International Communications & Development Katherina Vasiliadis
Choreographer and Performer, born in Israel to Russian-Jewish parents Dora & Zaxharia Getman, Michael Getman is interested in understanding and examining the relationship between our corporal body, it’s conceptual thought, us, and the reality which surrounds us. At the age of 17 Michael Getman joined the young Bat Sheva Ensemble, artistic director Naomi Perlov. Following Naharin’s invitation, he than joined the Bat Sheva Dance Company, artistic director Ohad Naharin. In 1999 Michael Getman Joined The Ballet Freiburg Pretty Ugly, Directed by Amanda K Miller. Between the years 1995 to 2007 he worked as a professional dancer, experienced and experimented with various creative styles and work methods. Since 2006 Getman is based in Israel and working in the field of Choreography, Theatre and Performance. Michael Getman has been creating throughout the years numerous projects and choreographic works. He is commissioned as a freelance choreographer, utilizing various forms of choreographic expressions in various venues and structures.
Michael Getman received a scholarship from the American Israel Cultural Foundation for promising young Choreographers in 2006. He has been awarded choreographic prizes in intentional competitions: International Choreography Contest Cross Connection Ballet, Copenhagen, Denmark in 2008 and in the No Ballet International Choreographic Contest, Ludwigshafen, Germany in 2014. Michael Getman continues his artistic search and choreographic exploration by collaborating with various artists from the field of Theatre, Dance, Music, Literature and the Visual Arts.
For further information about Michael Getman, his artistic vision and works, please visit his website:
Dániel Péter Biró is Professor for Composition at the Grieg Academy, University of Bergen. He studied in the U.S., Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Israel before receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2004. From 2004 -2009 he was Assistant Professor and from 2009-2018 Associate Professor for Composition and Music Theory at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC, Canada. In 2010 he received the Gigahertz Production Prize from the ZKM-Center for Art and Media.In 2011 he was Visiting Professor at Utrecht University and in 2014-2015 Research Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
In 2015 he was elected to the College of New Scholars, Scientists and Artists of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2017 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Dániel Péter Biró has been commissioned by prominent musicians, ensembles and festivals and his compositions are performed around the world
Dániel Péter Biró
Hisham Fadel Sulliman is an Arab-Israeli actor. He is best known for his role in the Israeli drama film Bethlehem, and as Taufiq Hammed in the Israeli political thriller television series Fauda. Sulliman was born and raised in Nazareth, Israel. As a child, he started acting at a community theatre. In 1997, he moved to Tel Aviv to study acting at the 'Yoram Levinstein Studio', from which he graduated in 2000. In 2007 he co-founded the Nazareth local Fringe theatre. Sulliman also took part in numerous plays in the Al-Midan and the El-Hakawati theaters. Sulliman is probably best known for his role in the Israeli 2013 drama film Bethlehem, and his role in the Israeli political thriller television series Fauda as Taufiq Hammed, nicknamed "The Panther", a former official member of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Sulliman is married to Rahik Haj Yahi, an Arab-Israeli actress from Tayibe, they met in 2002 during a production of a play. They have three children, and live in Nazareth Illit, Israel.
Hisham Fadel Sulliman
Artistic Collaborator & Dramaturge
Zachi Cohen was born in Israel in 1984. At the age of 17, he joined the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (then) directed by Rami Beer. In 2005, he began his career as an independent dancer and worked with renowned choreographers from all around the world, such as Barak Marshal (UAS/IL), Karl Schreiner (AT) and more. Alongside his dancing career, Zachi has established his artistic management activities and produced cultural events in the fields of dance and other performing arts, and is also involved in the production of educational activities and in community work. In 2008, he launched his own production office - Come and See - Culture and Production, which produces and supports performing arts events, and helps in promoting independent choreographers and companies in Israel and advises them on management, entrepreneurship, marketing and branding aspects.
In 2013, Zachi was selected as artistic director of the Clore Center for the Performing Arts in northern Israel to rebuild, guide and promote the center’s artistic program. In 2019 he becomes the CEO of the non-profit association Zygota, which initiates a wide range of cultural events for audiences of all ages and populations across Israel. He holds a Masters of Law degree in Law and Technology from the University of Haifa, Israel, and a Digital Marketing Certificate from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Currently he provides strategic and general consulting to artists with respect to fundraisings and sponsoring cooperation’s. As his artistic projects have a distinct social hue, he constantly strives towards bridging the two worlds of business and art.
They are researchers, discoverers, adventurers and idealists. Their partners are specialist ensembles and radio orchestras, opera houses and the free theater scene, electronic studios and countless organizers of contemporary music festivals and concert series in the world. The Neue Vocalsolisten established as an ensemble specializing in the interpretation of contemporary vocal music in 1984. Founded under the artistic management of Musik der Jahrhunderte, the vocal chamber ensemble has been artistically independent since the year 2000. Each of the seven concert and opera soloists, with a collective range reaching from coloratura soprano over countertenor to "basso profondo", shapes the work on chamber music and the co-operation with the composers and other interpreters through his/her distinguished artistic creativity.
The ensemble’s chief interest lies on research: exploring new sounds, new vocal techniques and new forms of articulation, whereby great emphasis is placed on establishing a dialogue with composers. Each year, the ensemble premiers about twenty new works. Central to the group’s artistic concept are the areas of music theater and the interdisciplinary work with electronics, video, visual arts and literature, as well as the juxtaposition of contrasting elements found in ancient and contemporary music.