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Jerusalem is preparing a week-long cultural feast of Ethiopian cultures and art from December 16 to 21. The festival, “Hullegeb,” has seen five successful years entertaining and promoting Ethiopian arts and culture and this year, it is in its 6th edition.
The festival will stage seven performing arts works by theatrical, musical and dance groups, each bringing something different to the audience, including a play performed by The Hullegeb Israeli-Ethiopian Theater, the festival’s main event.
The festival, produced by the Confederation House under the artistic direction of Effie Benaya, will include tributes to several outstanding and well-known artists from Israel’s Ethiopian community, as well as performances by promising young artists and fascinating joint projects combining diverse styles.
Organized with the support of the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the festival is said to reflect the depth and variety of Ethiopian culture from traditional to contemporary, and its dialogue with the surrounding Israeli culture.
Opening the festival is a special performance by an Israeli-Ethiopian musical ensemble, Tezeta. Under the direction of Abate Berihun, Tezeta draws upon a core of traditional Ethiopian music with ancient and unique Ethiopian instruments. The concert features a guest appearance by legendary Israeli musician Ehud Banai.
Other festival highlights include the KCG hip-hop group that plays mixing old-school hip-hop beats from the ‘90s with touches of Amharic ethnic sounds, emphasizing on social contexts that are aimed at empowering members of the Ethiopian community.
The Kuluma ensemble will be presenting an original production specially created for the festival; Zemene Melesse, one of the best known and loved Ethiopian artists living in Israel and abroad, will be in a performance celebrating 30 years of his musical career and there will be a new original production by the Hullegeb theater ensemble as well as a premier performance by the Beta dance company.