The Jewish Cultural Festival of Copenhagen opens on 1 June with dancing at the Round Tower in the Danish capital.
Professional dancer and choreographer Esther Wrobel will transform the wall between the church and the Round Tower into a vertical dance floor, marking a connection between Danish Jews and Christian IV, to whom we owe both the Round Tower and the invitation to the Jews in 1622.
From its beginnings in 2011, The Jewish Cultural Festival hassought to reach out to the surrounding community. Throughout the years, it has been able to expand its partnerships and venues, thanks to the work of the festival’s energetic partners Jette and Jacob Zylber.
“We’ve wanted to go outside the walls for a long time. Although we have good conditions in Krystalgade, we come out to a different audience and that creates a different atmosphere. This year we’ve brought in the Bellevue Theatre, where the Portuguese ballet company Quorum will perform. We also have several events at the National Museum and Cinemateket, and Børsen and Trinitatis Church are also participating,” said Jacob and Jette,
Therewill also be an opportunity to go around Copenhagen with a Jewish city walk and a bike ride around some of the places that are particularly linked to Jewish history. The bike ride is in collaboration with the Danish Jewish Museum, which is also taking part in this year’s festival, although the museum building itself is still closed for renovation.
“We have 90 events this year, and considering how small our congregation is, it’s a really big festival. We are one of the biggest Jewish cultural festivals in Europe today,” Jacob and Jette added.
Among the highlights of this year’s programme, is the ballet 30.000 LIV|ARISTIDES at the Bellevue Theatre. The ballet company Quorum tells the story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who was Portuguese consul general in Bordeaux at the beginning of World War II. Against the orders of his government, he issued visas to some 30,000 people fleeing occupied France.
In keeping with tradition, there will also be several major concerts at the synagogue: Ehud Banai, one of Israel’s most popular artists, will perform with Eyal Lovett’s Trio, bringing a new tone to Banai’s popular music from several decades. The Yamma Ensemble plays music rooted in the Jewish diasporas of Yemen, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries in Hebrew, Arabic and Ladino.
For family audiences, it’s a “tradition” on the last day of the festival when the professional circus duo Volantes performs with elements of classical circus and performance art. Volantes also performed last year – to the delight of all ages.
In keeping with tradition, the 12-day programme also includes a host of films, talks and concerts.
The full programme of the festival is available here