Mayumana: The Rhythm Of Israel

By Simon Griver

Jan 31

(Specialy for THE GLOBE))

Inspired by the beat band �Stomp�, the Mayumana dance group uniquely Israeli elements to its pulsating mixture of music, beat, movement, humor and joy.

Mayumana first took the nation by storm in 1998 during the Israel Festival, the country�s annual showcase international event for the performing arts. Since then, Mayumana has performed regularly at its home theatre in Tel Aviv, has appeared throughout Israel and has even made its first tour abroad, to Holland.

The ten-person troupe was conceived by Boaz Berman and Eylon Nuphar. �We aimed to create a show that would combine elements from most of the arts,� explains Berman. �Eylon and I are both percussionists. Rhythm is an integral part of our day-to-day life.�

After 18 months of exacting and exhausting rehearsals in a Tel Aviv cellar, during which the demanding Berman and Nuphar hired and fired dozens of prospective band members, the group was ready for its first performance.

�We looked for mischief and a spark of madness together with the mandatory rhythm,� recalls Nuphar. �Aside from creative inspiration, a lot of skills were required to do what we pictured in our heads.� Among these skills were music reading, developing coordination, yoga, rock climbing, digesting junk food, drumming techniques and massage. The name Mayumana (from the Hebrew meaning skill, dexterity or proficiency) is, therefore, certainly appropriate.

Berman, who was born in Israel and studied Afro-Cuban percussion in New York, and Nuphar, who was born in New York and studied oriental music and belly dancing in Israel, reflect cosmopolitanism that underpins modern Israel.

�Since each member of the group came from a different field of the arts,� explains Berman, �we had to bring them all to a common level � to turn dancers into drummers, drummers into actors, people into performers, individualists into a group.�

Mayumana, like the society in which it operates, is not easily described or characterized. It is a show that engrosses the audience with its openness, providing continuously changing visual pictures that hint at the roots and dynamic complexity of Israeli reality. Mayumana alludes to secularity and religion, simplicity and complexity, harmony and disorder. its nightly performances comprise a wide variety if situations leading to free associations, many of which are humorous. It is no surprise that in the midst of an urban show, utilizing improvised industrial instruments, a belly dancer appears or swimming flippers are transformed into a telephone booth.

Like Israel itself, Mayumana combines the contemporary with the ancient, east with west and chaos with order. Above all, Mayumana delightfully blends Mediterranean culture with a universal feeling that the group and its performance radiate.

Milan and TWA, a 50-year long lasting love

By Alessandro RAIMONDI


In February this year, Milan, her Malpensa airport and TWA, the American airline, will celebrate a much longed jubilee, the 50th anniversary of a fruitful connection. It was, in fact, in a cold February day of 1950 that the Italian metropolis, coming back to life after the dark years of W.W.II, during which Allied bombs � at that time enemy bombs � got their heavy toll on the city, made peace again with America, normalizing a relationship that before the advent of Fascism had been extremely co-operative.

It was exactly half a century ago that the moral and financial capital of Italy allowed the establishing of a regular service between Northern Italy and the United States. Milan and New York, the most important cities of both countries, disclosed again their treasures one another.

That peace didn�t need a formal document to be respected for it was on the minds of concerned men on both side of the Atlantic since a long time. They were men of good will who pushed hard to boost their trades: Italy needed to work, to produce, to export and America wanted to help, even more, she was committed to help.

Realized the need, reckoned the eagerness, what was missing was the connecting means.

It was found in Trans World Airlines, a young, dynamic, expanding American carrier that started transporting businessmen � in those days touristers were a rarity � from under NYC�s skyscrapers to under Milan�s Duomo spires.

Those were heroic times, there were indeed problems since Malpensa was a little more than an airfield some 50 kilometers north of Milan, which was not so comfortable to be reached in that early postwar period. Nevertheless TWA, like America, committed itself to continue servicing Lombardy�s capital.

No frills in those early intercontinental endless flights, but a fundamental drive to contribute at opening two markets, two mentalities, two countries to each other.

Enduring in a sometimes not so profitable route, eventually with Milan�s macroscopic economic expansion of the following years, TWA succeeded in an unprecedented development: it had opened the way to Italy and maintained a constant leadership for ages on the NY-Milan route. From 4-propeller planes aviation embraced the jet age and to it comformed itself the American airline: from Lockeed SuperConstellations, those elegant �Connies�, Malpensa runways started to hold the thunderous rolling of Trans World�s white, red-striped, streamlined Boeing 707s. Downtown Milan became more easily accessible and so NYC where at J.F.K. airport TWA established its own magnificent terminal.

In the meantime Italy had fully recovered from the wounds of war and had become a rich country: early �aviators� and businessmen became more and more engulfed in a constant stream of vacation passengers. The tourister�s era had began and on the route to North America TWA was the airline that carried the highest number of Milanese people with its gigantic Jumbos, i.e. Boeing 747s.

The special feeling that has united TWA and Milan half a century ago has bever been severed, and even if Trans World has suffered some setbacks in recent past years � by now fully recovered � it has never failed to maintain its commitment toward a city that has contribute to revive, and that the people of Milan will hardly forget.

Nowadays a nonstop service is offered daily by TWA from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Milan�s Malpensa airport with Boeing�s new jet generation airliners: streamlined, sleek, silent, safe 767 300/300 Ers. Both cities are equipped with an Ambassador Club, the exclusive facility offered to TWA frequent flyers.

This week in the 20th century

February 1, 1946 Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

February 2, 1943 the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered in a major victory for the Soviets in World War Two.

February 2, 1945 President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill departed Malta for the summit in Yalta with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

February 3, 1990 Alfredo Stroessner, president of Paraguay for more than three decades, was overthrown in a military coup.

All Over the Globe is published by IPA House.
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