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LABA Arts Festival
The Theater at the 14th Street Y
New York, NY
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LABA Arts Festival

Join us for an exploration of the power of food in ancient Jewish texts. Art, music, performances, teachings and tastings, 6/1-6/1 at the 14th Street Y.

This year's LABA festival will be structured as a four course "meal" of teachings from the Torah and Talmud and the new performances and art they inspired. The courses will be food and power, food and ritual, food and ethics and food and desire.

Works in the festival were created by the 2012-2013 LABA artist fellows and include a musical comedy about hungry lepers, a new choral work about eating fire and a comic rendition of the hunt for a good steak in Genesis. Full descriptions are below.

LABA teachers Ruby Namdar and Basmat Hazan Arnoff will be presenting the texts from the Torah and Talmud that connect to the work. LABA fellow Erin Patinkin of Brooklyn's Ovenly will be curating a tasting experience that will engage with the art and performances and the ancient Jewish texts that inspired them.

EAT will take place on 8:30pm on Saturday June 1 and 3pm on Sunday, June 2 in the Theater at the 14th Street Y, located at 344 14th Street in New York City. On Sunday LABA kids will present a separate activity for kids ages 4-12, free of charge. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 the day of the event.

Works in this year's festival include:


Misha Schulman   "Four Lepers"
Four Lepers sit outside the city walls slowly dying of hunger. Their options aren't great: go into the city and get killed, or stay where they are and wait for death. Or -wait!- there might be one more option, and it just might end in a miraculous feast. A musical comedy.
Inspired by Kings 2:7, "And when these lepers came to the outermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and they came back, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.

Karen Hartman   "The Fruit"
Janelle wants a baby. She starts feeding a teenage girl. The girl eats but does not speak. Where does love meet need?
Inspired by Isaiah 58:10, "And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in darkness, and thy gloom be as the noon-day."  


Eli Valley   "Bound"
Eli plumbs the Biblical story of Genesis for its monstrous roots: the horrifying transformation of Abraham's son into a half-beast who spends his life in a delirious fervor hunting for the taste of animal flesh.
Inspired by Genesis 27:3-4, "Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison; and make me savoury food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die."

Ghiora Aharoni  "Abstinence Desire"
Labeling a stuffed, dilapidated pig "kosher/halal" in Hebrabic¬© text (an overlay of Hebrew and Arabic), Aharoni touches on the elemental associations evoked not only by food but by its labels, as well.  Food appetites and aversions are a window to boundary, identity, and memory.  Inspired by the power of food to linger in the imagination and to trump rationality, Aharoni inverts the religious dictum of kosher/halalspecifically the Jewish/Islamic prohibition of eating porkas a way to explore the contradictory relationship between abstinence and our desires.
Inspired by Numbers 11:4, "And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, "Who shall give us flesh to eat?"


Amir Shpilman   "Hineni Shlach'eni" (Here I Am, Send Me!)
A new musical work featuring a chamber choir and four cantorial soloists based on the description of the prophetic appointment of Isaiah, and the symbolic eating of fire as an act of purification.
Inspired by Isaiah 5:24, "Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and as the chaff is consumed in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust."


Diana Spechler  "Girls At The Bar"
Spechler will read from her novel-in-progress, Girls At The Bar, a murder mystery set in a Manhattan tequila bar. The story explores drinking culture, the wedding industry, and other obstacles to human connection.
Inspired by Proverbs 23:20, "Be not among the winebibbers."

Still curious about what we do? Watch this video about the 2012 BLUEPRINT festival here.



The Theater at the 14th Street Y (View)
344 East 14th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)
New York, NY 10003
United States

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Arts > Performance
Arts > Visual
Other > Festivals

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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