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A Focus on the Arts
For a tiny nation, Israel has a thriving and abundant arts scene. The country is home to thousands of classical musicians—many of whom immigrated from the former Soviet states—and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has a world-class reputation.
A number of music festivals are held annually, drawing international crowds—from the Red Sea Jazz Festival, in the south, to the Voice of Music chamber music event and Jacob's Ladder Folk Festival, in the north.
Israeli theater, too, enjoys a significant following. There are six professional repertory theaters—including the Habmiah and the Cameri in Tel Aviv—and dozens of regional and amateur companies performing throughout the country. They perform almost exclusively in Hebrew.
Professional dance companies also abound in Israel today. The Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre in Tel Aviv is the primary venue and home to the Bat Sheva Dance Company, the national dance troupe.
Folk dancing has always been popular in Israel—in fact, it's an evolving art form. As well as "Israeli" folk dancing (really a blend of Jewish and non-Jewish folk dance forms from around the world), some of Israel's different ethnic groups have preserved their traditional dances.
Enthusiasm for the visual arts can be seen in all walks of Israeli life. A wide range of Israeli art can be viewed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and for modern Israeli art, the Ramat Gan Art Museum. Small art galleries abound; a large concentration can be found on Gordon Street in Tel Aviv.
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