This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day’

Children’s Folk Dance Group, Yom Atzmaut 2016

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 17, 2016

This was a more traditional folk dance performance. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of this group but they danced beautifully. The girls are so light on their feet that they move like gazelles. Very few boys seem to participate in the younger groups (I have a son–folk dance doesn’t have quite the same cachet for young boys as soccer and karate….). This group had two male dancers.

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Hassidic Theme Dance, Yom Atzmaut 2016

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 17, 2016

This performance was cute. A troupe of girls dressed as Hassidic boys dance to a medley of Hassidic tunes. Around the midpoint of the video, the “rebbe” (the only boy in the group) joins in with a Torah scroll.

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Yerushalayim shel Zahav Dance Group, Yom Atzmaut 2016

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 16, 2016

Recorded at the Israel Museum, May 12, 2016. This dance troupe of senior citizens performed several dances in different costumes (must have been hot!). In the commentary, the first segment is described as a “very old dance” and the second was performed to music from the 70s and 80s. I doubt that the first dance is a true folk dance; it is very complex with little repetition and must have taken quite a while to learn. Still, it’s fun to watch.

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Folk Dancing at the Israel Museum (Yom Atzmaut 2016)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 15, 2016

I have a confession to make. Although I’ve lived in Israel since 1989, I’ve never seen a folk dance performance except maybe on TV. Since we had no plans on Yom Atzmaut, we decided to go to the Israel Museum to watch the folk dancing there and I shot this video of some of the dances with non-performers (I’ll post the videos of performances later). In the first segment, there’s a guy holding a plastic sword aloft. He’s from the Yerushalayim shel Zahav dance troupe, a group of senior citizens who performed several times. At 3:38 I added a notation to point out a young guy in a blue shirt and beige baseball cap who really got into the dancing. I started following him with the camera because he was fun to watch.

These videos were shot in the middle of a hot day, between 11 and 1:30. You can see from the shadows that the sun is directly overhead and there’s no shade. It didn’t seem to deter anyone. They all seem to be having a lot of fun.

I was struck by how diverse the folk dance fans are–they cover a wide range of ages and religious observance. I almost wished I had gone to the weekly folk dance classes that were held at the Hebrew U., but honestly, I had two left feet in those days. Being a musician does not translate into being able to dance. I could do it now but I have too many hobbies at the moment. 🙂

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Independence Day 2016: Fireworks

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 15, 2016

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I was experimenting with the focus-pull technique when I photographed the annual Independence Day fireworks in Maale Adumim. Unfortunately, I’d left my big tripod at work, so I tried to balance a table tripod on a round railing. That’s why some of the results are a bit wonky. Oh, well, I did find a really good place to shoot, so next year I’ll make a note to bring my tripod home and to go to the same spot with a wide-angle lens (these were taken with 18-135 mm lens). Full set of photos is on Flickr. These photos were taken at f/4 with a neutral density filter (x8). Shutter mode was bulb, so the shutter speed tended to be between 1 and 2 seconds.

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Independence Day, 2015

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 23, 2015

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Maale Adumim. This is a single exposure, not a composite or multiple.
More fireworks photos are posted on Flickr.
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Video: Happy 64th Birthday, Israel!

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 26, 2012

In Israel, Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers comes right before Independence Day. Firework displays are held all over the country, so we made our annual trek up the hill to watch the fireworks in the center of Maale Adumim. This year I decided to do something a little different — a video instead of photos.

We were very close to the site. I had to clean ashes off my lens in the morning. In some parts the video looks out of focus because there was so much smoke hanging in the air (the strong wind had died down). Some of the fireworks exploded so close to the ground that the guys down in the wadi had to run around extinguishing the little brush fires. The colours were much more intense in real life, of course. If I try this again, I may lower the exposure compensation so that the highlights don’t get blown out quite so badly.

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Video: Independence Day (Yom Atzmaut) Rehearsal at Har Herzl

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 4, 2012

My officemate thinks that Israel probably has one of the worst marching armies in the world because they hardly ever march. After Baruch and I hiked through the Jerusalem Forest, we walked through Yad Vashem to Har Herzl. We saw soldiers rehearsing for Independence Day (Yom Atzmaut) ceremonies. I tried translating the directions and eventually gave up. It maked me very glad that I will never have to march in public.

Soldiers Rehearsing for Yom Atzmaut (Independence Day)

Har Herzl is Jerusalem’s military cemetery. Heads of state and other important people are buried there, along with thousands of soldiers (I didn’t see that part).

Golda Meir’s grave:

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Yom Atzmaut (Independence Day)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 21, 2010

Happy 62nd birthday, Israel!

Israel's 62 Years of Independence

In the evening we went to the Memorial Day/Independence Day ceremony held in our neighbourhood, Mitzpeh Nevo. According to the Jewish calendar, the day begins and ends at sundown. Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers is the day before Independence Day. A ceremony for both days marks the transition between the two days. It has a haunting rhythm, moving from sadness to joy on the same occasion. It starts with memorial prayers and ends with dancing and (in the main part of the city), fireworks.

Our neighbourhood ceremony is held in a basketball court, which has become much too small a venue! I took this photo before the ceremony began, because I really liked the light. I was facing east, so the sun had set behind me, and was perched on a ledge up high, with two cameras and a folded tripod.

Yom haZikkaron/Yom haAtzmaut Ceremony, Mitzpeh Nevo, 2010

The kindergarten children performed a dance. This photo is actually an export from a video, so its size is only 640×480 pixels. I wish it were possible to operate two cameras at once, but I haven’t yet mastered the knack.

Yom haZikkaron/Yom haAtzmaut Ceremony, Mitzpeh Nevo, 2010

Unfortunately, I left before the flag drill and torch-lighting because I wanted to photograph the fireworks in the central park of the city at 9 p.m. (Last year the 10:30 p.m. display didn’t take place and I didn’t want to miss the fireworks two years in a row). Oh, well, maybe next year I’ll hang around long enough to video the whole thing. I didn’t want to stay out too late because I was photographing a bat mitzvah the following evening. This video was shot with a hand-held Canon PowerShot S5, so it’s a bit bumpy. I spliced together bits and pieces from the first half of the ceremony, ending with the dance above.

I had no trouble getting close to the fireworks display, maybe even a little too close. It was tough to frame the shot at times. Here are a couple experiments with the focus blur technique. Maybe I’ll have better luck next year!

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

I also took some regular photos. For more fireworks and Yom Atzmaut shots, go to my Flickr set.

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

Yom Atzmaut Fireworks

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