For the First Time Ever: Israeli Wheelchair Dancer Appears in Local German Musical Production
Posted In: 28/02/15 ZDVF - Zahal Disabled Veterans Fund
Israel wheelchair dancer Nahum (Humi) Prital and his standing dance partner Gal Cucuy have recently returned from a performance tour in Germany where they took part in a local musical production. The story behind the scenes is fascinating and typical of modern day communication where thanks to the internet and the social networks the world has indeed become a global village.
Humi, a Zahal Disabled Veteran and his standing partner of many years, Gal, have been dancing at Tel Aviv’s Beit Halochem under the guidance of dancer and choreographer Yelena Feitliher. Meanwhile, German playwright and director/producer Ralph Bussing wrote a musical by the name of Bahlus, a forest fairy tale about a dwarf who falls in love with the forest princess. The dwarf turns to a magician to make him taller so he can manifest his love to the princess. The magician agrees on three conditions the last of which is that he must give up his ability to walk. The director did a search on the internet for wheelchair dances and found a YouTube clip of Humi and Gal dancing at the 2008 Golden Wheel Competition in Israel Bussing contacted them through Facebook and from here onwards things developed rapidly.
Humi and Gal recount: “Three days before leaving Israel for a dance competition in Germany we were contacted by a producer through Facebook who offered us to appear in the musical. We agreed to meet up with him in Berlin after our competition. We met Ralph for dinner at the end of which we agreed to perform in the musical. Looking at each other as we left the meeting we couldn’t believe what was happening to us!”
The town of Hanover hosted the musical’s premiere on May 9th followed by three more performances. A fourth show took place in Wolfsburg. “We went on the tour with great trepidation and concerns about the unknown that lay ahead”, added the two dancers. “The group of musicians we worked with consisted of three blind players and three seeing players. We had a very professional and moving experience. After a mere two rehearsals we felt like we had been appearing with the troupe for a long time. Each performance was an amazing accomplishment. At one of the performances which fell on the eve of Independence Day, we received a roar of applause when the announcer cordially congratulated us on Israel’s Independence Day. When the tour was over we received an invitation for more performances in October”.