Who better to tell the story of the Festival over the past 40 years than each and every one of you, this year’s Festival honorees? One of the special ways we celebrated the Festival was by sharing memories in a souvenir anniversary program as well as on our website and social media.

If you weren't able to make it to the show, you may still Download our 40th anniversary souvenir program.


My favorite finale was for the 14th Festival in 1990.  The music was Or (Light), with Shoshana Damari singing about the sun rising in the morning.  We bought flashlights for each performing dancer.  I cut little squares of different colored lighting gels to stick on top of the flashlight lenses. The troupes formed concentric circles of dancers with flashlights attached to their palms with thick rubber bands.  The circles in the center had yellow gels.  Once all the groups were on stage, the outer (non-yellow) groups configured themselves into rays coming out from the yellow center.  The final pose began with the lights dimmed and all the dancers crouched down.  Slowly the group formed a slope, the dancers in back standing up completely and the dancers in front not rising at all.  Shoshana Damari sang “Or oleh baboker” (Light comes up in the morning) and the audience burst into applause. – Ira Vishner

I was the youngest dancer in the first Sucaria parent-child troupe.  In fact, at three, I was the youngest person in the entire Festival.  I remember practicing the end of the dance, and because I was so little, I had trouble keeping up with the steps.  So they told my mother to carry me on her shoulders.  Now here’s where you should understand that “Sucaria” means candy, and the theme of the suite was kids in a candy shop.  They gave us all huge lollipops to carry.  But I wasn’t very strong so I couldn’t hold my lollipop up high.  I will never forget that when it fell, given where I was sitting, it hit my mother’s head.  To this day, I feel badly about that – it was a very hard, heavy piece of candy! To this day, the Festival has a special place in my heart.  I loved dancing in it and treasure the fact that I hold the record as its youngest dancer ever. – Halle Kahan