Movement artist Israel Aloni commenced their collaboration with SARAY Iluminado early in 2020, attending a single band rehearsal in early March, before the first Melbourne lockdown. Over the course of 2020 the collaboration continued through virtual discussions and meetings.
Songs of Love & Exile (trailer below) is our collaborative debut work. This work straddles borders of acoustic traditional music and movement performance, articulating a poetic, contemporary reimagining of complex diasporic ways of being in the world.
The Sarajevo Haggadah Project is a live performance about the illuminated Jewish manuscript that now also stands as a symbol of hope, peace and reconciliation in the Balkans and throughout the world.
This collaboration between Dr Eli Tauber, the Director of the Haggadah Association and the Cultural Advisor of the Sarajevan Jewish Community, and Saray Iluminado sheds light on the (hi)story of the Haggadah from its birth in Barcelona through to its turbulent yet resilient re-settlement in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. A poetic work about reconciliation, humanity and hope, this event is for everyone from families to lovers of music, theatre, history, activism and live performance.
Sunday 2nd April 2023, 1pm & 4pm at the Jewish Museum of Australia
Support this project: https://australianculturalfund.org.au/projects/sarajevo-haggadah-part-2/
Learn more: https://www.vic.gov.au/sarajevo-haggadah-project
SARAY Iluminado Femme is a trio derivative of the ensemble SARAY Iluminado, a Melbourne based group that specialises Sephardic Jewish and Sevdah, the traditional music of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trio started by making an appearance at a women's iftar gathering in 2017 and has operated ever since featuring predominantly, but not exclusively, at women's events.
The group explores contemporary, diasporic reimagining of Sephardic Jewish Romances and Sevdalinka songs. Similarly to the five-piece version of SARAY Iluminado, the Femme Trio creates a playful sound-field for the musical musings of its members, welcoming musicians who come together in love and respect of each other’s musical and cultural traditions. The Femme Trio made their European debut at the Sicilian traditional music circuit in August 2019. In 2021, SARAY Iluminado Femme led the project "The Resonant Heart", a multidisciplinary performance event performed in Melbourne for International Women's Day, featuring 12 international artists currently based in Melbourne. The Femmes hope to continue this project and create more spaces for such expression.
Between memory and possibility, hope and history, between protest and reconciliation, the potential for our ascension is rooted deeply in the songs, stories, food and coffee rituals of our grandmothers, their grandmothers and the ones before them. The songs we (re)sing/(re)play and the stories we (re)tell are the replanted roots and reimagined dreams for an individually united sense of a better tomorrow.