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March 31, 2020 4:02 pm

Mexican-Jewish Dance Group Showcases New Choreography Planned for Cancelled Festival

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Members of the Mexican-Jewish dance group Anajnu Veatem performing in an online group video. Photo; YouTube screenshot.

The Mexican-Jewish folk ensemble Anajnu Veatem shared on YouTube over the weekend new choreography it was scheduled to premiere this month at the 47th Festival Aviv, a regional event canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The almost 10-minute clip features dancers of Anajnu Veatem, which translates in Hebrew to “We and You,” performing a choreography titled “Zemer HaAm” (“Music of the People”) along with several musicians, all of whom recorded from their homes in Mexico, Israel and Costa Rica. The choreography is themed around the history of the Jewish people.

“From day one I sat down to study and see what would be best for the group,” former dancer of the company and guest choreographer Federico Borenstein told the website Enlace Judio. “I wanted to make the history of our people, of Israel, through their music, which is a theme that unites the entire diaspora with Israel in an incredible way.”

The video includes footage of a large group of dancers rehearsing on stage, likely filmed before they were asked to self-quarantine by health officials, and musicians performing a medley of some of the most popular Israeli songs, including “Hora,” “Am Israel Chai” and ” “Shir LaShalom.”

“All the songs go hand in hand with a history that has been forged through the years with the people,” said Borenstein. “It is not a musical selection because I liked it but because it says something.”

Creating the choreography took approximately six months, but synchronizing the musicians and the large group of dancers to record the work individually from their respective houses took weeks, Enlace Judio reported.

The opening message of the video reads in both Spanish and English, “All of us who make up Anajnu Veatem, connected and united by an idea, want to release our latest stage work. From each of our homes, holding hands, to vibrate at a distance.”

Festival Aviv was originally scheduled to be held March 21-29 in Mexico City.

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