The Festival Idea

The Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston is based on a special idea. This idea has its roots in the Israeli folk dance community at MIT, and has helped it to grow for over forty years. It has been passed down here through several generations of folk dancers, with each individual contributing his or her own particular talents. This idea sprouted into our first Festival in 1977, and continues to blossom today.

The idea is our ability to create great things by sharing. Our Festival is organized on a volunteer basis, both the efforts of the Committee and the performers. We reap the rewards of producing a marvelous show without paying the price of overburdening any of us with the workload. The Festival is enjoyed tremendously by the performers as well as the entire Jewish and the folk dance community - and admission is priced appropriately for families. The Festival is sponsored by Campus Activities Complex at MIT.

In the Festival Committee we share our expertise, working together in a cooperative fashion. We draw on the capabilities and skills each person brings to the table (organization, publicity, sound, lights, telephone contact, group sales, etc.). At the monthly meetings (from September through April) we share the latest news, review the progress in preparing and mailing the brochures and posters, see the pieces available from the many performing groups, choose the finale music, and generally keep the effort on course. In between, we each do what we need to prepare for the show.

The Festival performers have the opportunity to share in an inspiring environment. Of course, there is the thrill of performing for an enthusiastic audience. By bringing the groups together, we also hope to increase communication among the dancers and generate a "cross-fertilization" of ideas. Many of the younger groups are exposed to higher levels of dancing and choreographic skill at the show, and it enriches them and our Festival in the years that follow. All of the performing groups inspire a new generation of young people in the audience to Israeli folk dancing. All of the dancers also see the example set by the Festival Committee members and other volunteers, who work as a team to guide them through the day’s activities.

The Festival idea is powerful. The desire of folk dancers to participate in our annual effort these many years testifies to its ability to motivate. We contribute our talents, orchestrate them together, and reap the rewards. We continue to teach, to learn, and to have a blast every time.

Hope to see you next year.