A mission of Dotahns upon his return to Israel was to meet up with Alon, a close friend he had in highschool 13 years ago and whom he hasn’t had any contact with since. Thanks to the necessary evil which is Facebook,
Dotahn found Alon not long before we left Australia. To our surprise and delight, Alon had become a professional dancer and was performing at the Jerusalem Theatre at the end of our first week. He got us tickets and so we contacted Dotahn’s cousin Zohar who lives in En Karem, a beautiful old Arab neighborhood just out of the city, and organised to stay a night at his house. Driving up to Jerusalem, through sweeping rock valleys we couldn’t help but be a little awed. Teirs of white Jerusalem stone hovering over the vast plains. Ancient crumbling monasteries and cobbled alleys led us to Zohar’s house. Sima, Zohars partner made us welcome with pancakes and coffee in their cute little stone abode as Emm and Itmar had photo wars before his bedtime.
That evening we caught a cab into the city, a city in the midst of its annual arts festival. The Jerusalem theatre was lit by towering posies of coloured light which wavered in the breeze. After losing ourselves in the attempt to find our tickets we were filing into the theatre, a beautiful large space. Alon’s dance company is called Vertigo and the piece entitled Mana. Choreographed with a lot of inventiveness and input from the dancers themselves and starkly lit with simple, modern staging. The costumes were amazing, flowing around their bodies as they moved effortlessly through the music. The piece had a distinct martial art feel in some of their forms, translating emotions of power, love and humor. A very overwhelming and breathtaking experience.
After taking advantage of the free food and wine, Alon introduced us to his friends and fellow performers before the three of us headed to a gorgeous bar set in an old art gallery. Over cocktails we engaged in a web of conversation, piecing together stories and filling in the blanks since these two had seen each other. In the morning we decided to explore En Karem before we headed to our next destination. Stopping by Sima’s work, a small independent chocolate shop and workshop, we ate our fill of delicious, freshly made chocolates. Our wanderings found us at a sacred spring belived to have been touched by the feet of the virgin (a sister spring to the one in Banos) and to the unfortunately locked gates of a monastery said to have beautiful gardens.