Fastening 60-year ties of PH, Israel closer through art

MANILATel Aviv this week is bridging closer its ties with Manila by bringing an award-winning puppet play in the Philippines in celebration of the 60th Friendship Anniversary between the two states.

When All Was Green, a non-verbal puppet show, was performed by couple Dikla Katz and Avi Zlicha of Key Theatre in Israel, featuring a heart-warming tale between a boy and a tree, and depicts both the generosity of nature and greed in a man's heart.

The performance is inspired by Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, but highlights more the importance of maintaining balance, and living in harmony with nature.

"It was inspired by The Giving Tree, but it was important for me to take it further than the plot because in each story you have to find its heart, the one you want to talk about," Zlicha said.

"For me, the part of the story, The Giving Tree, was about the choices that we make in our lives and the prices we have to pay for those choices."

Zlicha said When All Was Green, modernized in its own way, tackles a universal issue often overlookedprotecting the environment from its worst threat, mankind.

"It talks about the relationship, the balance between people, the balance between humanity and nature, all kind of relationships, telling that in one minute, if you make a mistake, you break this balance," she said.

Aside from its messaging that touches heart, tickles the mind to speculate and think critically, the play is unique on its own way since it employs non-verbal acts that are easy to catch on.

Zlicha said that this type of art effectively gets the audience hooked.

"We discovered that when you don't use words, it leaves a lot of space for the audience to think and to process the story during the performance. They fill in the gaps because we don't say anything."

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov, deputy chief of mission of the embassy said they brought "When All Was Green" to Manila to reach the Filipino youth and instill importance of sustainability in their young minds.

"We support the idea of sustainability, sustainable development, which is part of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations," she said.

"We believe that we need to take care of our environment, and this specific performance is touching this topic in a very good manner, all ages can relate."

The couple earlier staged the puppet show at the Ospital ng Makati, with the tour's second leg Wednesday at the University of the Philippines. Their performance, all free of charge, will be shown next at the Cribs Foundation on May 3 and at the Museong Pambata on May 4.

The production of When All Was Green premiered in 2012, and has since then received several awards such as Best Music Award in Children's Theatre by Assitej Israel, Children's Jury Award at the International Puppet Theatres Festival, Katowice, Poland 2015, among others.

Dean Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete of the UP College of Arts and Letters said this type of performances sponsored by the embassy indeed brings closer the two nations' ties through culture and the arts.

The performance was made possible through the partnership of the embassy, UP College of Arts and Letters, Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas and the UNIMA-Pilipinas. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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