Machol Pacifica is New Zealand's National Israeli Dance Camp. The annual three day camp offers dance workshops, enjoyable evening dance sessions, and the opportunity to study Israeli folkdance, folklore and culture, all in a fun, social atmosphere.
The first two camps, held in 1989 and 1991 were organised by Stan Morris and Raymond Matson (Hamilton Israeli Dance Group). Moshe Telem, a well-known Israeli choreographer was invited to attend and he has returned to teach at several subsequent Machol Pacifica Camps.
His charismatic style and successful formula of teaching both his own dances and those of other Israeli choreographers was extremely popular.
Guest choreographers and/or tutors from overseas have become an established tradition at Machol Pacifica.
Machol Pacifica classes are held in school or university gymnasiums, some with on-site accommodation. Meals and refreshments are usually provided for the participants.
Dancers attending the camps vary widely in age, from primary school to senior citizens. In 2004 the Hawke's Bay dance group introduced parallel classes, one for beginners and one for advanced dancers. This chance for a high number of beginners - intermediate dancers to learn in a dance camp environment will hopefully became a regular feature of Machol Pacifica.
The cost of bringing guest teachers from overseas is considerable, and host groups must fundraise and seek sponsorship help to finance each event. All sponsors are acknowledged in any written material prepared for camp. The Camp is usually officially opened by a local dignitary at which time sponsors are publicly acknowledged.
Background information from:
Yvonne Trask, Wellington &
Elaine Prakash, Hawke's Bay
Do you have photos from previous camps that you are willing to share? Please email them to us and tell us who is in them, and the date and location of the camp.