World talent heads to Leeds festival
A world-famous tap artist, a Ladino-Hebrew diva, Tel Aviv break-dancers and tango dancers from Yorkshire are just a few of the performers gracing the stage of the Leeds Jewish International Performing Arts Festival, which starts next month.
The festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has a distinctly international flavour, with acts from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Brooklyn and Los Angeles, with a sprinkling of home-grown talent. Canada-born old-school hoofer Lionel Blair opens the show with Tap and Chat, interspersing dance numbers with anecdotes from more than 50 years in showbusiness.
Israeli Sephardi singer Mor Karbasi, who returns for her second stint at the festival, will be singing songs from her new album in English, Hebrew and Spanish.
Other highlights are a "Boybershop Quartet"; a family drama by Leeds-born Jewish playwright Brian Daniels, At home with the Goldbergs; and a hard-hitting autobiographical piece from writer and peace activist Ibrahim Miari, the son of a Palestinian Muslim father and Jewish Israeli mother.
Festival project manager Helen Frais says: "We wanted to put Leeds on the world stage and I do think we've succeeded."
The festival, which is sponsored by the JC, runs from June 6-10 at The Carriageworks, Leeds LS2. Call 0113 224 3801 or visit www.leedsjewishfestival.com for details.
Joshua Nelson and the Kosher Gospel Singers perform at the Leeds Jewish International Performing Arts Festival on June 6 and 8