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Monday, August 1, 2011

Circus students climb walls between cultures


1 Aug 2011
"Art has the biggest potential for social healing that I know of," says the director of Israel's Association for the Development of Circus Arts.
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The Israel Circus School runs multicultural programs to bring Jewish and Arab schoolchildren together.
By Avigayil Kadesh

If you're swinging from a trapeze or performing a risky acrobatic stunt, you've got to have total faith in the teammate entrusted to synch with you. And so, reasoned Hanita-Caroline Hendelman, circus training could provide a perfect - and perfectly offbeat - setting for building bonds between all cultures in Israel.

"Seven years ago, I initiated the project of having classes from Jewish and Arab schools meet through circus to foster dialogue," says Hendelman, director of the Israel Circus School and the Association for the Development of Circus Arts in the Galilee town of Kfar Yehoshua. Three years ago, she began working with multicultural youth at risk, too. "We try whenever possible to mix groups of different cultures," she says
"My main interest is how we employ the arts in social healing. I don't mean art or drama therapy, but art in its fullest form. I think art has the biggest potential for healing that I know of, and the Israel Circus School is a fully artistic and professional school for adults, youth and children. They learn to be creative, responsible, artistic members of the community, but as part of their training we involve all our students in our various multicultural projects."
Under the banner "Circus Arts for Social Change," she is now creating a local and international network of circus artists and supporters interested in building a new socio-political agenda "to find innovative and creative means of resolving conflict situations and setting up new social priorities towards creating a society that cares, honors and respects all its members." read more:
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/IsraelExperience/Circus_students_between_cultures-Aug_2011.htm

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