Throughout the years, Machol Shalem has acted as an umbrella organization for independent dance artists in Jerusalem. First under the auspices of the community council, and later under The Israeli Choreographers Association. The organization has hosted various local and international artists, striving to establish a modern and professional cultural center, for the benefit of the Jerusalem public, in a sensitive Jerusalem area, located between the Old City and the Western part of Jerusalem – at the heart of Musrara neighborhood.
With time, Machol Shalem has broadened the scope of its activity. It has converted a rehearsal space for local artists, and established its own performance hall, among Jerusalem’s most active performance spaces today, for artists of all performing arts; all the while, providing professional assistance and support to students, novice and professional artists from Israel and abroad.
Thanks to its social and artistic contribution, Machol Shalem has been officially recognized by the Cultural Authority of The Israel Ministry of Culture and Sports as a Jerusalem Center for Dance Arts, in the year 2011.
The center has worked diligently and continuously to provide a professional infrastructure for artists, in the hopes of persuading graduates of Jerusalem’s art academies to remain in the city; as well as to market and promote Jerusalem as a free and liberal city, and to provide the cultural assistance necessary for local artists and audiences, acting under a moral social conscience.
During the last decade, Machol Shalem has been operating in Jerusalem, providing professional assistance and guidance in all aspects of creative artistry for independent artists, for the benefit of the audience and the development of Jerusalem’s cultural and artistic life. Alongside its ongoing activity, the organization also produces a yearly international dance festival, The Jerusalem International Choreography Competition and The International Dance Week which aims to promote local independent dance pieces and international cooperations, residency programs and artists’ exchange programs. Among the participating artists in The Machol Shalem International Dance Festivals over the years are: Yasmeen Godder, The Batsheva Dance Company, Renana Raz, Niv Sheinfeld, Nimrod Freed, Noa Dar, Tamar Borer, Ido Tadmor, Talia Paz, Nigel Charnok (Great Britain), Claudia Hauri (Holand), and many others.
The core issues that stand at the heart of Machol Shalem’s artwork productions are current social concerns, dealing with the complexities that emerge from the encounter that takes place between the various populations co-existing in Israel.
Within its framework, Machol Shalem also initiates community based projects and cooperates with various organizations, among which are the YMCA, The Jerusalem Center for Young Adults and others.
The Machol Shalem Dance House is run by Ruby Edelman and Ofra Idel, acknowledged Jerusalem artists, activists in Jerusalem’s artistic and cultural scene, and the artistic directors of Machol Shalem since 2002.
The activities of Machol Shalem are supported by The Israel Ministry of Culture and Sports, The Jerusalem Municipality, The Jerusalem Foundation, in cooperation with The Israeli Choreographers Association. Special projects are supported by The Israeli Payis Council, The Goethe Institution, Eden Company from the Jerusalem Development Authority, and The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.