LACH YERUSHALAYIM

Israeli

 
PRONUNCIATION: LAHK yeh-ROO-shah-lah-yeem
 
TRANSLATION: For you, Jerusalem
 
SOURCE: This dance was choreographed by Dani Dassa, one of the leading Israeli dance choreographers now living in the United States.
 
BACKGROUND: Lach Yerushalayim was choreographed as a salute to Jerusalem, Israel, the oldest capital city in the world. Jerusalem is situated approximately 32 miles from the Mediterranean Sea on the end of a flat ridge. On one of the world's ancient trade routes, "every wanderer, every conqueror, every traveller who has trod the central route of [old] Palestine from north to south must have passed through the table-land of Jerusalem." The city has been a world pilgrimage spot for many of the world's religions, and access to the city's holy places has been promised by the government of Israel since the Old City section was annexed after the War of 1967. One of the actions in the dance (hands up with palms forward) represents praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem--the sole remaining wall of Solomon's Second Temple. Since the Diaspora (the Great Dispersion), Jews all over the world have yearned to return their homeland and embrace the Western Wall.
 
MUSIC:Israeli Dances (LP) DAN-005
 
FORMATION:Open cir of mixed M and W with hands joined and held down in "V" pos.
 
METER/RHYTHM: 2/4
 
STEPS/STYLE: YEMENITE STEP R: Step R swd (ct 1); step up onto ball of L in back of R (ct &); step R onto full ft down and across in front of L (ct 2).

YEMENITE STEP L: Step L swd (ct 1); step up onto ball of R in back of L (ct &); step L onto full ft down and across in front of R (ct 2).

The two steps above are often simply referred to as "Yemenite R" and "Yemenite L."

 

MEASMOVEMENT DESCRIPTION

 
1-2INTRODUCTION - No action.
 
I. TRAVELLING IN LOD
 
1Facing and moving to R in LOD, step L (ct 1); hop L (ct &); step R (ct 2); hop R (ct &).
2Close L to R bending both knees (ct 1); jump up from both (ct &); land on L (ct uh); step R leaning over from hips (ct 2); step L fwd with body still bent fwd (ct &).
3Straightening up, step R (ct 1); hop R (ct &); step L (ct 2); hop L (ct &).
4Yemenite R (cts 1&2); hop R (ct &).
5-8Repeat action of meas 1-4 ending facing ctr.
 
II. WESTERN WALL
 
1Facing ctr and releasing handhold, leap L swd (ct 1); step R across L, leaning fwd with R shldr and R hand extended across body (ct &); step L back in place, straightening to face ctr (ct 2); hop L (ct &).
2Step RLR, making one full CW turn to the R (cts 1&2).
3-4Repeat action of meas 1-2.
5Facing ctr with hands fwd, just above shldr level, with palms fwd and elbows bent, step L swd (ct 1); rock R swd (ct 2); rock L swd (ct &).
6Rock R swd, bending knees and leaning body fwd as hands come down near hips with elbows still bent (ct 1); close L to R with body still leaning fwd with knees bent and hands coming up again but with palms facing each other (ct 2).
7Still leaning fwd with knees bent, clap hands (ct 1); clap hands (ct 2); clap hands straightening knees slightly (ct &).
8Step R swd, bringing hands out and downward (ct 1); close L to R without wt (ct 2).
9-15Repeat action of meas 1-7.
16Straightening body, turning to face to R in LOD, and taking a low "V" pos handhold, step R fwd in LOD (ct 1); close L to R without wt (ct 2).
 
 Repeat entire dance from beg.
 
 Before dance begins for the third time, jump on balls of both ft in place four times for one meas of musical interlude (cts 1&2&).
 
 Repeat entire dance from beg, except that Fig II, meas 16, is danced as was meas 8 with dancers remaining facing ctr. This is followed by four more meas of music with the dancers continuing to dance the action of meas 15-16 three more times (meas 17-19), followed by a 20th meas in which the dancers, straightening up, clap hands (ct 1); snap fingers throwing hands high and outstretched (ct &); pause (ct 2).
 

Copyright © 2004 by Dick Oakes