Faculty: Anna Gonshor
Dance to the beat of….yourself! Jump into a rhythm circle and internalize trance-like grooves while using your whole body. We’ll learn the body percussion scale and survey traditions from around the world, including the body Bulgar! Zero drumming experience necessary, even encouraged.
Faculty: Richie Barshay
Level: All Levels
Back for a second year! A course for singers and instrumentalists, and for anyone interested in learning more about how Ashkenazic music works. This class is designed to help you create your own liturgical settings. We will learn the accepted nusach (musical modality) for various sections of the Shabbes services, and study prayer texts in detail, devoting close attention to meaning, correct accentuation and phrasing. We will also explore the emotional and spiritual character of each section, and look at existing settings. Working individually or in small groups, we will compose our own settings, or adapt new settings from existing tunes. Bring your creativity and an open mind, and be willing to devote time outside of class to your projects.
Faculty: Cantor Jeff Warschauer
Level: Intermediate to Advanced, and Up
Slow down! Ornaments, phrasing, and sekund (rhythmic accompaniment) for less advanced string players, or more advanced players who want to dig deeper at a slower pace.
A Workshop with Deborah Strauss
How to Give Your Friday Night Services a Real Yidishn Tam (a Heymish Yiddish Flavor).
For singers and instrumentalists. We’ll meet all week, as an ensemble, to learn special vocal and instrumental nigunim and synagogue melodies for welcoming the Sabbath Bride. On Friday evening we will fill the Egalitarian service with our singing and playing. As sundown approaches, we will put our instruments away, but the singing will go on. A wonderful musical experience for all, and open to everyone. No previous, current or future religious affiliation necessary or expected.
Faculty: Cantor Jeff Warschauer and Cantor Becky Wexler Khitrik, with special guests
Level: All Levels
A KlezKanada nes (miracle). Learn to read Yiddish in 4 sessions.
Faculty: Kolya Borodulin
Songs are a great tool for learning a language. This class will teach Yiddish language and cultural history by examining language, grammar, syntax, and dialects in Yiddish songs.
Faculty: Janie Respitz
Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Three Millennia of Poetic Subversion
Explore the hidden secrets of the letters
Tap into the power of ancestral culture
Hone your interlingual dexterity
Prepare to be amazed
For the fourth successful year, internationally acclaimed poets and performers, Adeena Karasick and Jake Marmer will be returning to host 4 days of lectures, discussions, master classes on writing and performance. The theme of the KlezKanada Festival this year is the “Yene Velt” – the dark side of the Ashkenazi mythic lore – dybbuks, ghosts, hallucinations, various spirits and undead elements. The Poetry Retreat will echo this theme presenting our own set of entrances into and encounters with the “other side”. If Kabbalists claimed that the greatest light is concealed in the deepest darkness, it is our assertion that poetry, too, finds its beginnings and motion in just such paradoxes and reversals.
Throughout the week, we will discuss the role of ghosts, golems, dybbuks and specters in and through writing: with topics ranging from golem creation through language as outlined in the Sefer Yetzirah to Humour Noir; Revelation and Nihilism, Révenance and the Poetics of Hauntology.
The Jew in Me is the Ghost of Me: From Babylonian to Beat Talmud, Sefer Yetzirah, Jerome Rothenberg, David Meltzer and Jack Hirschman
“The Jew in me is the ghost of me,” wrote Beat poetry icon David Meltzer in his shamanic cycle Golem-Wheel. This session will explore the explicit encounter with the Supernatural in traditional Jewish texts as well as the revelatory, radical, irreverent, contemporary poetics of mysticism explored by David Meltzer, Jerome Rothenberg and Jack Hirschman. We will also investigate the relationship of spirit, body, and language, and attempt to give a new life to the ancient practice of creating a Golem through letter combinations.
Humour Noir: Tristan Tzara, Franz Kafka and Lenny Bruce
Humour Noir or even sarcasm may not be a strictly Jewish phenomenon but to a Talmudic mindset, trained to answer every question with a barrage of other questions, loopholes, and ellipses, it is a way of addressing and probing the world’s utmost darkness. Freud thought that gallows humor erupts when “the ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality”; we’d like to add that a poet employing humor noir is herself a provocateur, triumphing over oppressive realities, structures, limits, in ways that are impassioned, engaged, enraged, outrageous, obsessive, dominating, shticky and sometimes treif… are you ready?
Between Revelation and Nihilism: Walter Benjamin, Gertrude Stein, and Charles Bernstein
Gershom Scholem famously wrote about mystical themes that “walk a fine line between revelation and nihilism.” It is our belief that experimental, avant-garde poetry places itself in just such an encounter. We will explore some recent approaches to experimentalism, including the ghostly practice of erasure, in which shadows and specters of language emerge and recede through veiling, unveiling and révenance (returning).
Poetics of Hauntology: Reznikoff, Rukeyser, Agamben, Morrison
Through the transmigration of language, data, mappings, lineages, what can emerge? In this session, poets will ravenously invade, possess, feed-off each other. Investigating practices of intervention and translation, we will explore text as a spectral dance of flickering signifiers, establishing not an ontology but a hauntology, a written and performed space where language emerges as a congregation of disembodied voices.
From the Anti-Semitic to the Semiotic: Amiri Baraka and Ezra Pound, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Paul de Man
Can you be a Jewish poet and read Ezra Pound? What about Amiri Baraka’s poetry of late 1960’s? For Jewish poets, one of the truest, and most difficult encounters with darkness is finding language to speak and think about sublime poetry written by those who have reviled us – casually or continually. There’s no easy answer to this dilemma, but perhaps it is within the space of poetry that the most potent and compelling responses can emerge.
Participants will have the opportunity to engage in both solo and multi-vocal performance and work with musicians, dancers, experimenting across all disciplines. Last year, the works of our students were published in the Forward here and here – a tradition we certainly hope to continue, expanding to features in other publications as well.
Rock the “Golden Oldies” and discover some lesser known pieces of the klezmer repertoire. Participants will read through lots of tunes, learning tips for arranging and interpreting lead sheets, improvisation 101, and basic theory. Please bring a music stand!
Faculty: Rachel Lemisch
Level: All Levels
In this experimental ensemble, we seek to express our dreams and fantasies in music that is informed by klezmer and nigunim. Text and poetry are also welcome. Bring your dreams and show up to create something unique, to express something inexpressible….Expect the unexpected… Open to all artists! This ensemble will perform in the Student Concert.
Faculty: Marilyn Lerner
A workshop for new dancers, experienced dancers, and even those that think they are not dancers… Join Avia for a Yiddish dance class that will have you shining on the dance floor at night! Balancing individual expression and community togetherness, traditional Yiddish dance is as beautiful as it is fun. With plenty of room for variation, these are dances that everyone can enjoy together. We will look at the fundamentals of traditional Yiddish dance forms, from steps to style. Love the Sher? You’re in luck! In addition to freylekhs, bulgars, and zhoks, we will aim to dance a sher each day, learning both traditional and new forms.
A workshop with Avia Moore
More fun playing tunes together at a comfortable tempo.
Faculty: Eleonore Weill
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
A fun and informal way to get in some more dancing in the afternoon, and review the dances learned during the week. Specific wedding dances will be featured each day, so those unable to make it to a dance class can get a little intro.
Faculty: Various Leaders
Do you want to revolutionize the Klez Kommunity?
Do you want to be a part of the baddest thing since Josh Dolgin?
In Teenagers in Lvov, you will finally get to combine and perform your two favorite genres of music: Hip-Hop, and Klezmer! All youthful musicians are welcome. Are you a klezzical violinist? No problem. A rapper? Arguably better! Someone who likes to eat? Too bad! We rehearse during lunch!
Faculty: Zach Mayer
Level: All Levels
a 5K Loyf (Run)/2.5K Shpatsir (Walk) on Friday at 7 AM
For early risers and die-hard stay-up-all-nighters! A fundraiser for KlezKanada with an emphasis on the FUN! KlezKanada at Dawn! Runners! Walkers! Musicians! Sponsors! Volunteers!
We’ll meet at the Retreat Centre for a little eye-opening coffee and then we Loyf around Camp! If you’re not into exercise (but love the fresh morning air…) then your band can make music around the course to inspire the Loyf-ers! The more the merrier! There’s something for everyone, and all proceeds go to benefit KlezKanada!! Awards in many categories, and swag for participants and generous donors! Keep an eye out for volunteers and register early!
Come Join the Big Ear Thing! Here at Big Ears, we believe in two things, learning and arranging klezmer tunes by ear, and melting face with our awesome klezmer sound. Come prepared to delve deeply into the melodies, harmonies and rhythms of these tunes, which we will stretch, wrestle and warp to make our arrangements. All instruments are welcome to the group, though a moderate knowledge of harmony and a strong desire to bring it is highly recommended.
Faculty: Dan Blacksberg
Level: All Levels
There are Yiddish songs for every aspect of Jewish life, from cradle to grave. We will examine lullabies for infants and mothers and then follow the child’s growth through playful kheyder years, adolescence, young love, hard work, and aging. Each song will add an understanding of the joys and hardships of Eastern European Jewish life.
Faculty: Janie Respitz
Level: Intermediate, Advanced
How to Develop Your Inner Voice and Strengthen a Sense of Presence
When we get up in the morning, we might not yet be totally present in our bodies, neither in our emotional or spiritual consciousness. We will sing nigunim and concentrate on breathing-exercises and movement, to come back into our physical realm. We will sing meditative Yiddish songs and reflect on Kabalistic themes, in order to reconnect with our various soul levels.
Faculty: Shura Lipovsky
Level: Open to all levels
לעקציע אין אאָנדענק פֿון שׂרה ראָזענפעלד ע״ה: ״דער אָפּקלאַנג פֿון פּרצעס טויט אין דער יידישער קולטורוועלט
כאָטש פּרץ איז געשטאָרבן אין דער שרעקלעכער צײַט פֿון דער ערשטער וועלט-מלחמה, פון גירושים און פּאָגראַמען, האָט זײַן טויט געהאַט א גאָר שטאַרקן אָפקלאנג. 100,000 ײדן האָבן אָנטיילגענומען אין זײַן לוויה. איך וועל אנאליזירן דעם באטײַט פון די ערשטע ליטעארארישע אפרופן אויף זײַן טויט און פֿונעם אוהל וואס מע האַט געשטעלט איבער זײַן קבֿר צום 10טן יארײַט,
This talk will be in Yiddish only with no translation.
Der opklang fun peretses toyt in der yidisher kulturvelt
(The Reaction to the Death of I.L. Peretz in the Jewish Cultural World).
Eugene Orenstein The Sarah Rosenfeld Memorial Lecture (English) Although Peretz died in the terrible time of WWI, with the mass expulsion of Jews and pogroms, his death had a powerful impact on the Jewish world. 100,000 Jews participated in his funeral. Eugene will analyse the first literary responses to his death and the monument (the Oyel-Perets) that was erected over his grave at the tenth yortsayt.
Faculty: Eugene Orenstein
If you enjoy choral singing, this class is for you! Sing traditional and modern choral arrangements of Yiddish songs (keeping all the krekhtsn in place) with attention to history and style. Polina’s specially developed teaching methods are based on a specific East European sound, using ornamentation and modal experimentation with attention to the spiritual and emotional sides of musical creativity, history, and context of choral material. Sheet music, translations, and transliterations will be available.
Faculty: Polina Shepherd
Level: Open to all levels
Rokhl Kafrissen and Steve Weintraub will host storytelling around the campfire. Bring your strangest, most terrifying, or unusual story. English, Yiddish, French (and all other languages, earthly and otherwise) welcome.
At the Jr. Beach (Weather permitting)