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Whatever the Style, What Matters Is To Dance

Yoni tells about Yonatan

Yoni Caricato
Yoni Caricato

Around 1967, Yonatan came to see a performance of the Inbal Theater, at the Allenby Theater in Tel Aviv. The name of the concert was “Vered Bar – Wild Rose” by choreographer Sara Levi-Tanai (z”l), founder of the troupe. I was the soloist in the performance. I didn’t know that Yonatan was present at the concert. At the end of the show he approached me backstage and asked if I would like to participate in a performance tour to the United States and Europe, as a soloist in his troupe, since his soloist had to leave for personal reasons.

It was hard for me to decide since I had been one of the “Inbal” soloists for seven years, and I knew that Sara Levi would be disappointed by such a decision. Ultimately, I decided to leave Inbal and join Yonatan Karmon. I danced in the Karmon troupe as a soloist for seven years.

There are no words to express my thoughts today about what I experienced while working under Yonatan‘s baton. He was a special man, a captivating artist, full of charm, a very handsome man, and in my personal experience – a man with a heart of gold.

Yonatan was an optimist and as such, his works expressed joy, airiness, freedom, and a celebration of life. When he was in the midst of the creative process, we did not dare to disturb the flow of his thoughts, however, he was open suggestions from the dancers that came spontaneously, such as in the creation of “Jacob, Rachel and Leah (Yonatan, Miri Dolgitzer and me) and in the creation of “Timna” (Dani Binstead and me), where I felt his openness to the imagination of everyone involved.

On tours to the United States and Europe, there were people with us who were already famous, [vocal artists] like Shoshana Daamari, Yaffa Yarkoni and others, but Yonatan certainly opened doors for many other people like Ilanit (I love her), HaChalonot Hagvohim – The High Windows (Shmulik Kraus, Arik Einstein and Josie Katz), Boaz Sharabi, guitarist Yigal Hared, singer Mike Brant and many more who became famous thanks to Yonatan Karmon.

Yontan Karmon changed my life, literally. I continue to teach Israeli folk dance and organize dance camps and workshops. And I know that others, who like me danced in his troupes, still dance and teach. When they do, they will always remember the one and only Yonatan Karmon. I’ll conclude with a phrase that he used to say that I loved, “Whatever the style, what matters is to dance”. We all love you and you will always remain in our hearts.


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