Hutzot haYotzer 2010 (Jerusalem International Arts & Crafts Festival)
Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 11, 2010
Last night we went to Hutzot haYotzer. I haven’t been for a couple years, so I was glad to have an opportunity to go this year. The festival runs from Aug. 2 to 14, 2010, 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. (midnight, after Shabbat), in Sultan’s Pool, near the Old City of Jerusalem. This year there are over 150 exhibitors. I thought the entrance fee (55 NIS, about $12) was quite fair because it is a lot more than a craft fair. There are live performances (I counted four musical venues), a big concert each evening, street theater, a food court, and demonstrations of spinning and glass blowing.
I always go to the international paviliions first. This year the offerings were somewhat more commercial than the last time I was there. Two years ago I found a wonderful Panamian mola that had been cut out of a blouse and made into a bag (blogged here). This year I bought a couple baskets (from South African and Bolivia), a small bag (Guatamala), and a painted turtle box (Indonesia). Or is it a box turtle? 🙂
List of exhibitors in the international pavilion.
Beaded figure of a woman from Cameroon
Hungarian lacemaker making a narrow bobbin lace edging. The examples I saw were very similar to Russian bobbin lace, with its trails and plaits.
Sbun-Nga – Dancers from Thailand
The Thai dance troupe, Sbun-Nga, performed on the small stage in the international pavilion. There were several dance sets, which began with what I presume were somewhat traditional dances. The costumes were lovely. The commentary, over a loudspeaker at the beginning of each set, was in English. If I recall correctly, the woman in the gold cape represents some kind of exotic bird.
The set in the next photo was modeled on a cooking show. A bare-chested chef wielded a gourd, surrounded by a bevy of writhing maidens with mortars and pestles.
This set was very funny. How can I describe it. A girl and a carrot. Wait a minute — they’re all holding carrots. According to the commentary, carrots are a sign of hospitality among hard-working Thai farmers (the guys in black). That certainly clears things up!
I also found some YouTube videos of their performance in Melbourne this year. They did the Beethoven-with-castanets dance last night. I’m sorry I couldn’t find a video of the carrot dance!
Mosh Ben Ari
The main performer was Mosh Ben Ari, an Israeli singer and composer who sings a mixture of rock, soul, and reggae. (Here’s the official Mosh ben Ari site). We really enjoyed it. My son stayed until the end. We left after about 45 minutes because it was getting late.
My son is somewhere among the masses of arm-waving teenagers in front of the stage (below).
We were sitting near the top of the stands.
I have a few more photos in my Flickr set. The festival was crowded but not unbearable. The food court has improved a lot. Now it’s a lot easier to find reasonably priced kosher food. People who have mobility problems may have difficulty going down some of the rock-cut steps but quite a few ramps have been provided.