‘Fluid Infinities’ displays architecture in motion at the Hollywood Bowl


If you were to assume that Jacques Heim, the bold and much-praised founder of the Diavolo Dance Theater was a choreographer, no one would blame you. Diavolo is, after all, a dance company, and Heim, a roguish Frenchman who talks quickly and passionately about his art, seems to fulfill all the prerequisites of the profession. But you would be wrong, at least according to him.

“I describe what we do as architecture in motion,” Heim said during a recent phone call. “And I don’t describe myself as a choreographer as much as an architect of motion.” It’s a fitting title for the man whose company is now bringing the third piece of its trilogy with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the Hollywood Bowl stage on Sept. 5. Like its predecessors, “Foreign Bodies” and “Fearful Symmetry,” the latest work, “Fluid Infinities,” revolves around an architectural centerpiece, this time a moving, glowing crescent “moon” (as some described it at a recent preview of the piece), a wondrous and beautiful contraption that puts a fitting cap on Diavolo’s “Espace du Temps” trilogy.

For those unfamiliar with Diavolo’s work, fear not, for even Heim has trouble defining exactly what the company does, admitting that even after 14 years of touring nationally and internationally, Diavolo defies convention. “Imagine I was a French chef and mixing a salad,” Heim offered. “Here’s the recipe: I would put in the salad a little bit of everyday movement, a little bit of ballet, a little bit of modern dance, a little bit of gymnastics, a little bit of acrobatics, a little bit of martial arts, a little bit of hip hop, and then add abstract structures … and there you have it, that’s the salad.”

And what a filling meal it will be, if the early preview of the piece shown to the press and some Diavolo backers last month is any indication. “Fluid Infinities” uses Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 3 to startling effect. The strings-only piece oozes with menace as Diavolo’s dancers jump through, walk over, hang off of and twirl about the fiberglass quarter-sphere “moon,” which is pockmarked by circular openings recalling both the portholes of ships and the dark craters of the celestial body.

To those who’ve seen Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” there may be noticeable echoes of the film in Diavolo’s latest work, and according to Heim, this is not accidental. “The trilogy is called an ‘Espace du Temps’ — Space of Time — which is also sort of a theme of ‘2001,’ ” said Heim, who cited the film’s famous “monolith” as a big influence on his latest work. And it is easily seen in the piece’s first movement, where the dancers in the company first encounter the architectural centerpiece with a mix of wonder, fear and attraction.

“The five women and the five men in the company completely create the movements for the piece,” Heim said. “I more direct them, and look at what they’re doing, purely from an architectural point of view.”

Heim has found working on the trilogy to be an invigorating experience. “It’s actually surpassed what I expected,” he admitted. “I had really no idea what I was entering into.”

“It really also changed the way that Diavolo was working … in the past we never had the music first,” Heim said. But as the trilogy necessitated a close partnership with the L.A. Philharmonic, Heim no longer had the luxury of waiting to choose his musical accompaniment later in the process. And, as Heim soon found, “With great restriction comes great freedom.”

The entire effort requires collaboration on a grand scale. Beyond Heim’s dancers and the orchestra, there’s designer Mike McCluskey, with whom Heim worked closely on the development of the architectural centerpiece. “I bring them drawing ideas and concepts,” Heim said. The job of the designers is to make Heim’s vision practical, not an easy job, especially when the challenges of working at the Hollywood Bowl are involved.

“The main challenge is that we rehearse during the day,” Heim said. “The temperature is crazy.” Indeed, in the past, the company has actually experienced problems with shoes melting on stage at the Bowl, and they had to bring in mini air conditioners so they could work safely. And as for the moon, according to Heim, “You can cook your own eggs on it,” during the heat of the day.

Beyond the heat though, there are other unique challenges. “In terms of the lighting, we have to be careful so that we don’t blind any of the musicians,” Heim said. “We have to adjust to the condition of the environment.”

Heim is very excited about premiering the piece at the bowl, though, and is also looking forward to the indoor premiere of the full trilogy next May in Germany. “I want to do something where I’m ready to fail,” he said. “I want to feel like I remember feeling when I was at the Grand Canyon, standing on the edge, ready to fly or ready to fall.” 

“That’s when you’re really rediscovering yourself,” he said, “and you grow.”

“Fluid Infinities” premieres Sept. 5 at the Hollywood Bowl. The L.A. Philharmonic, conducted by Bramwell Tovey, will also perform pieces by Adams and Prokofiev as part of the evening’s program. Tickets can be purchased on the Hollywood Bowl’s Web site.

Batsheva Dance Company reads between ‘Three’ dances


Ohad Naharin, choreographer of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company credits a back injury with helping him develop a new language of dance.

“I started relating to my body differently,” he told the Web site culturekiosque.com in 2004. Naharin’s innovations mean that for the dancers in Batsheva, sensation is more important than form, and pleasure more important than ambition, creating a direct, instantaneous experience of dance.

“You don’t have to translate it,” said Luc Jacobs, Batsheva’s rehearsal director, in an interview with The Journal. “It’s very immediate, like when you listen to music or eat food. Ohad created his own movement language to find better keys to access the abilities of dancers and we all share a collective intelligence for the way we work and the way we approach movement.”

This month, the Batsheva Dance Company will be performing Naharin’s “Three” at the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts. “Three” is an interlinked collection of three dances: “Bellus,” “Humus” and “Seccus.”

Bellus, which means beauty in Latin, explores the silence between the musical notes. Ten dancers, all dressed in urban-looking short-sleeved T-shirts or shirts and cut-off pants, move across the stage with sinewy alacrity. The music seems still at times, with the dancers’ movements creating an overlying rhythm. At one point, a man and a woman dance together in a way that evokes a dialogue between them.

“Ohad is very turned on by composition, by tension between elements — dance and music [man and woman]” Jacobs said. “The piece is very linked to music, but in many areas we also dance to the silence, or we play to the silence and the movement. The music is as much the silence as it is the actual sound — that is what creates the gap between the notes.”

“Hummus,” or “earth” (not smashed chick peas), is an all-female composition, set to the music of Brian Eno. In this piece, the women move together as a troupe, with the music playing very softly in the background, almost imperceptible above the women’s movement.

“In ‘Hummus,’ the music lives happily next to the dance, and at the same times contributes to the atmosphere that is being presented,” Jacobs said.

In the final piece “Seccus” (meaning both ‘this’ and ‘not this’), all 18 dancers of the troupe are on stage. The dancers dance individually, testing their own boundaries, while creating a fervent, energetic group composition.

“Ohad never spoon-feeds the audience,” Jacobs said. “He tickles their imagination and their creative thinking — and there are many blanks to be filled in.”

Batsheva Dance Company will be performing Ohad Naharin’s “Three” at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

Limon’s Company Revives a Classic Dance


In 1957, Jose Limon toured Poland with his dance company. In the rubble-strewn cities still reeling from the ravages of World War II, the choreographer contemplated the resilience of people in the aftermath of great tragedy. And when he stood before the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto, Limon clearly saw redemption in the face of suffering and found the inspiration for a new dance.

The dance, called “Missa Brevis,” premiered the following year in a bombed-out church in Budapest and would become a masterpiece of the Limon canon. The June 1958 issue of Dance Magazine declared “it has been a long time since modern dance has produced a work so profoundly stirring and exalting.” Carla Maxwell, artistic director of the Jose Limon Dance Company since 1978, called it “one of those rare, perfect dances. Poland moved Limon profoundly, and from it, he created some of the most glorious choreography.”

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Limon Dance Company has staged a major revival of “Missa Brevis” and will perform the work at the Los Angeles Music Center in March, along with a new work by acclaimed choreographer Lar Lubovitch. Called “Recordare,” Lubovitch’s dance pays tribute to the Mexican-born Limon, who died in 1972.

Lubovitch credits Limon, who studied painting at UCLA before discovering his true calling as a dancer, for inspiring him to be a choreographer. He researched Limon’s Catholic-Mexican heritage to create a dance inspired by ancient Aztec myths and Catholic traditions.

Set to music by Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly, “Missa Brevis,” which literally means “short Mass” in Latin, begins with a group of dancers huddled defiantly in a tight group, while one dancer stands apart. The group breaks up into quartets, trios and solos, and, ultimately, all the dancers return to the stage as a united community. Throughout, they perform Limon’s signature movements, which emphasize expansiveness, theatricality and the technique of connecting the external motion of the body with the internal processes of the psyche and spirit.

“On one hand, it’s a Catholic Mass. Limon had always struggled with Catholicism and with this dance, wanted to create a true act of faith,” said Maxwell, who danced “Missa” when she joined the company in 1965. “But it’s also a universal statement of hope and re-building, and to be a part of this dance is an experience unlike any other.”

Because the dance requires between 19 and 22 performers, the 13-member Limon Company has created the Missa Project, a partnership with various dance institutions in cities where it will perform. In Los Angeles, Maxwell will audition dance students from CalArts, who will have completed a three-week workshop in Limon technique, repertory and movement philosophy.

“This is our blueprint for the future,” said Maxwell, who noted that Limon’s technique has been taught all over the world. “It’s important that all kinds of communities continue to find out about Limon.”

“Missa Brevis” set the stage for later Limon works like his 1967 “Psalm,” which also explores the theme of survival but from a more specifically Jewish perspective. Maxwell said that Limon’s experience at the Warsaw Ghetto and in post-World War II Europe “is the likely explanation” for why Limon read Andre Schwarz-Bart’s 1959 work “The Last of the Just,” one of the first novels to chronicle the plight of the Jews during World War II. Inspired by the book, Limon went on to discover the Jewish legend of the Lamed-Vov, the 36 righteous men who shoulder the sorrows of the world.

In “Psalm,” Limon took the idea of the Lamed-Vov and created the figure of a lone just man, bearing the world’s burdens but also “carrying a message of hope,” Maxwell said. “So much of Limon’s work is about people rising out of destruction. With ‘Psalm,’ he saw what happened to the Jewish people and wanted to place it in a universal context.”

Maxwell remembered Limon, who co-founded his company with Doris Humphrey in 1946, “as an avid reader who was always curious about other cultures.”

“He was always able to take a specific theme and make it into a universal statement,” she explained. “His work is timeless.”

Like many of those who studied with Limon, Maxwell spoke of her dedication to preserving her mentor’s work as if it’s an activity like breathing.

“How can I not continue his work?” she exclaimed. “We felt that Limon’s technique is so profound, and that his dances are like a canon of literature. We knew that if we disbanded, his work would disappear.”

The receptivity of dance venues to the Missa Project indicates the ongoing interest in Limon’s technique, which “is based on the natural functioning of the human body and emphasizes moving from the inside out, essentially from your soul,” Maxwell explained. Like Martha Graham and other modern dance pioneers, she said, Limon “believed in purposeful movement and that through modern dance, you could communicate grand ideas and passions.”

For Maxwell, “Missa Brevis” is a “stunning” manifestation of Limon’s movement philosophy.

“With ‘Missa,’ Jose restored dance to its ancient, spiritual function,” she said. “In this dance, he found the perfect form for exploring the triumph of the spirit.”

“Missa Brevis” will be performed with “Recordare” on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. and March 26 at 2:30 p.m. in the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Tickets range from $20-$75. For information, go to www.musiccenter.org or phone (213) 628-2772.

 

A Concert of Conscience


In choreographer Roni Kosmal-Wernik’s piece about the aftermath of a suicide bombing, a dancer prowls the stage as if searching for a lost loved one. Her movements become heavy, brooding, as if she is burdened by an invisible weight.

Inspired by a family friend’s death in a 2001 attack, Kosmal-Wernik’s work will help kick off a June 20 event at Temple Emanuel to support other victims of terror. Performers such as pianist Sha-Rone Kushnir will appear to benefit ATZUM, a Jerusalem-based charity that provides necessities for families not covered by Israel’s overburdened welfare system.

“Artists for ATZUM,” is the latest Los Angeles response to Israel-based violence. While synagogues have supported programs such as Adopt-a-Family, and musicians have played for Rock for Israel concerts, Kosmal-Wernik contemplated what she could do to help several months ago. Although she had previously donated funds to ATZUM, founded by her friend, Rabbi Levi Lauer, “It always bothered me that I couldn’t give more,” the 27-year-old choreographer said. “So I began thinking, ‘What can I do,’ and I decided, ‘I can give my art, and I can get others to do the same.'”

As Kosmal-Wernik enlisted performers such as choreographer Ben Levy, she kept costs minimal to match ATZUM’s practice of rigorously limiting overhead.

“Every cent raised will go toward families in need,” said Lauer, who will speak at the event.

The concert will include two works Kosmal-Wernik choreographed in response to her own experience of living in Jerusalem from 2001 to 2003. The alternately agitated and hopeful movements of “Two Years in a Land” reflect the conflicting emotions she felt about remaining in Israel after a car bomb exploded near her apartment.

When a 19-year-old family friend was blown up at the Naharia train station, she interviewed his mother to create a dance memorial; the piece features seven performers, symbolizing the seven days of shiva, who protectively surround the mourner.

Kosmal-Wernik hopes the upcoming concert will convey similar sentiments. “Especially now, when people are afraid to visit Israel, it’s crucial to let [Israelis] know there are Jews in another part of the world who care,” she said.

For information about the June 20, 7 p.m. performancecall (310) 274-6388, ext. 560 or contact rwernik@earthlink.net. For informationabout ATZUM, visit www.atzum.org .

A Biblical ‘Song’ and Dance


Two years ago, Aileen Passloff stumbled across a long-lost rehearsal tape from her 1967 dance/opera, "The Song of Songs," inspired by the Bible’s "Song of Solomon." The New York choreographer promptly telephoned her friend, Deborah Lawlor, co-founder of Hollywood’s Fountain Theatre, who had performed in the lyrically erotic show.

"This music had lived so vividly in our hearts all these years … [but] having never been written down, [it] had subsequently been lost," Lawlor, 63, said. When Passloff called, they decided to restore the tape digitallly to give the music "a new production and a new life."

Al Carmines’ lush score provides the backdrop for "The Song of Songs," now at the Fountain, in which five dancers pair off while singers chant biblical text. Its creators hope to convey the essence of the ancient poetry, which describes God’s love for the Israelites as the passion between a man and a woman. "The chief metaphor is that of a woman’s body as a garden," Passloff, 71, said. "It’s unexpected stuff for the Bible."

The acclaimed choreographer — the granddaughter of Russian Jews — was herself surprised by the sensual text when her first boyfriend gave her a copy in high school. Years later, she jumped at the chance to turn "Song" into dance at Carmine’s Judson Memorial Church, a Greenwich Village artist’s hangout.

While recreating the work in Hollywood a quarter century later, Passloff didn’t remember a single step of the original. But the music she had discovered on that dusty reel-to-reel tape helped her remain true to its romantic spirit, she said. If she and Lawlor relied on musical archeology to revive the piece, they feel it’s as relevant post-Sept. 11 as it was in ’67.

"There’s so much ugliness in the world, it’s important to think about the qualities that make us human rather than beasts," Lawlor told The Journal.

"At a time when it’s scary to be vulnerable, the ‘Song’ is about daring to open up and to love," Passloff said.

The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 663-1525.

Flamboyant Ballet


When Boris Eifman’s ballet, "Tchaikovsky: The Mystery of Life and Death," premiered in Moscow in 1993, angry picketers surrounded the concert hall.

"They stood with a banner that read, ‘Stay away from our Tchaikovsky,’" said Eifman, whose ballet debuts at the Orange County Performing Arts Center May 16-18.

The provocative phantasmagoric piece explores the beloved Russian composer’s tortured psyche, especially his repressed homosexuality. His inner split is portrayed literally, with one dancer representing the closeted, anguished Tchaikovsky, and another his sexy, uninhibited alter ego. Homoerotic playing cards cavort in one sequence, while another depicts Tchaikovsky kissing a sleeping prince, rather than a princess, in an allusion to his ballet, "Sleeping Beauty." The piece is as explicit, if less sensationalistic, as Ken Russell’s 1970 film "The Music Lovers."

The audaciously flamboyant work is what audiences have come to expect of Eifman, whose ballets include "My Jerusalem," an ode to the Israeli capital, and "Red Giselle," about a Soviet ballerina gone mad.

While noting that Eifman’s company has received far more attention in the West than others in Russia’s vibrant, contemporary dance scene, Los Angeles Times dance critic Lewis Segal nevertheless praises his "talent for grand-scale pictorial splendor" and for creating "very gutsy work within that society."

"Homosexuality was only legalized in Russia in 1997, and here he has a seminaked Tchaikovsky and his boyfriend doing male duets," Segal told The Journal. "His ‘Red Giselle’ has a communist [official] virtually raping the heroine. Eifman managed to stage dances about religion, and he is a Jewish artist who managed to stand up to the communists and not back down. So I give him amazing points for courage."

The renegade choreographer took his first dance classes at age 6 in Siberia, where his father, an engineer, had been ordered to work in a tank factory during World War II. In 1953, his family relocated to Kishinev, Moldavia, where Eifman began choreographing at 13 — to his parents’ chagrin.

"A musician in a Russian Jewish family, it’s normal, but a dancer is abnormal," he said through a translator.

The authorities also regarded him as abnormal when, after graduating from the Leningrad Conservatory, he founded his own company in 1977 to create "absolutely nontraditional work that broke the canon of Soviet ballet."

While audiences cheered his unorthodox mix of contemporary movement and Freudian drama, the cultural commissars disapproved. They nixed his funding and forbade him from touring outside the U.S.S.R, forcing Eifman, now 58, to scrape by on ticket sales in the provinces. They also pressured him to leave the country: "They said, ‘You’re not a Soviet choreographer; better you should go to Israel,’" Eifman recalled.

The harassment included anti-Semitism, even though the choreographer felt "this is my culture; it’s just like a difficult relationship in a family."

So he chose to remain in the U.S.S.R., although he took the first opportunity to visit Israel, when Perestroika hit in 1989.

Walking around the capital, Eifman said, spurred "My Jerusalem," in which three soloists personify Judaism, Christianity and Islam co-existing in one place.

"I wanted to show that God created this city to show a model of love," he said.

Four years later, Eifman focused on Russian culture when he holed up in the St. Petersburg library to research a piece on his favorite composer, Tchaikovsky. He pored over diaries and letters in which the musician described his unhappy marriage and a suicide attempt.

"My whole life I wondered why he composed such tragic music, and I learned it was because he lived a double life," Eifman said. "He was a religious man, and he thought his sexuality was his personal tragedy. I decided two dancers could show the conflict between his soul and his body."

When "Tchaikovsky" premiered in New York during the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg’s triumphant 1998 United States debut, not a single picketer surrounded the concert hall. Instead, excited Russian immigrants lined up to see their favorite company, along with expectant dance critics.

After the first performance, The New York Times’ Anna Kisselgoff wrote that "you won’t find such daring actor-dancers anywhere else, not even in other Russian companies."

Eifman traces his success to his dual cultural roots. "I make Russian ballets with a Jewish soul," he said.

Tickets, $20-$65, are available at (714) 556-2787, ext. 6677; online at www.ocpac.org; and through Ticketmaster, (714) 740-7878 or (213) 365-3500.

Flamboyant Ballet


When Boris Eifman’s ballet, “Tchaikovsky: The Mystery of Life and Death,” premiered in Moscow in 1993, angry picketers surrounded the concert hall.

“They stood with a banner that read, ‘Stay away from our Tchaikovsky,'” said Eifman, whose ballet debuts at the Orange County Performing Arts Center May 16-18.

The provocative phantasmagoric piece explores the beloved Russian composer’s tortured psyche, especially his repressed homosexuality. His inner split is portrayed literally, with one dancer representing the closeted, anguished Tchaikovsky, and another his sexy, uninhibited alter ego. Homoerotic playing cards cavort in one sequence, while another depicts Tchaikovsky kissing a sleeping prince, rather than a princess, in an allusion to his ballet, “Sleeping Beauty.” The piece is as explicit, if less sensationalistic, as Ken Russell’s 1970 film “The Music Lovers.”

The audaciously flamboyant work is what audiences have come to expect of Eifman, whose ballets include “My Jerusalem,” an ode to the Israeli capital, and “Red Giselle,” about a Soviet ballerina gone mad.

While noting that Eifman’s company has received far more attention in the West than others in Russia’s vibrant, contemporary dance scene, Los Angeles Times dance critic Lewis Segal nevertheless praises his “talent for grand-scale pictorial splendor” and for creating “very gutsy work within that society.”

“Homosexuality was only legalized in Russia in 1997, and here he has a seminaked Tchaikovsky and his boyfriend doing male duets,” Segal told The Journal. “His ‘Red Giselle’ has a communist [official] virtually raping the heroine. Eifman managed to stage dances about religion, and he is a Jewish artist who managed to stand up to the communists and not back down. So I give him amazing points for courage.”

The renegade choreographer took his first dance classes at age 6 in Siberia, where his father, an engineer, had been ordered to work in a tank factory during World War II. In 1953, his family relocated to Kishinev, Moldavia, where Eifman began choreographing at 13 — to his parents’ chagrin.

“A musician in a Russian Jewish family, it’s normal, but a dancer is abnormal,” he said through a translator.

The authorities also regarded him as abnormal when, after graduating from the Leningrad Conservatory, he founded his own company in 1977 to create “absolutely nontraditional work that broke the canon of Soviet ballet.”

While audiences cheered his unorthodox mix of contemporary movement and Freudian drama, the cultural commissars disapproved. They nixed his funding and forbade him from touring outside the U.S.S.R, forcing Eifman, now 58, to scrape by on ticket sales in the provinces. They also pressured him to leave the country: “They said, ‘You’re not a Soviet choreographer; better you should go to Israel,'” Eifman recalled.

The harassment included anti-Semitism, even though the choreographer felt “this is my culture; it’s just like a difficult relationship in a family.”

So he chose to remain in the U.S.S.R., although he took the first opportunity to visit Israel, when Perestroika hit in 1989.

Walking around the capital, Eifman said, spurred “My Jerusalem,” in which three soloists personify Judaism, Christianity and Islam co-existing in one place.

“I wanted to show that God created this city to show a model of love,” he said.

Four years later, Eifman focused on Russian culture when he holed up in the St. Petersburg library to research a piece on his favorite composer, Tchaikovsky. He pored over diaries and letters in which the musician described his unhappy marriage and a suicide attempt.

“My whole life I wondered why he composed such tragic music, and I learned it was because he lived a double life,” Eifman said. “He was a religious man, and he thought his sexuality was his personal tragedy. I decided two dancers could show the conflict between his soul and his body.”

When “Tchaikovsky” premiered in New York during the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg’s triumphant 1998 United States debut, not a single picketer surrounded the concert hall. Instead, excited Russian immigrants lined up to see their favorite company, along with expectant dance critics.

After the first performance, The New York Times’ Anna Kisselgoff wrote that “you won’t find such daring actor-dancers anywhere else, not even in other Russian companies.”

Eifman traces his success to his dual cultural roots. “I make Russian ballets with a Jewish soul,” he said.

Tickets, $20-$65, are available at (714) 556-2787, ext.6677; online at www.ocpac.org ; and through Ticketmaster, (714) 740-7878 or (213) 365-3500.

World Briefs


LAX Shooter Had Terror Ties?

The man who killed two people in the July 4 attack at Los Angeles International Airport told U.S. officials in the mid-1990s that Egyptian officials had accused him of being affiliated with terrorists. As a result of the disclosure made this week by U.S. officials regarding Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered the agency to investigate any ties between asylum seekers and terrorist groups. Meanwhile, Egyptian police and Hadayet’s wife denied that Hadayet had been investigated for terrorist links. After killing the two and injuring several more people at the airport’s El Al ticket counter, Hadayet was killed by an El Al security guard.

Choreographer Wins

A choreographer who has created dance prayer rituals for the Reconstructionist movement won a MacArthur “genius” award. Liz Lerman was one of 24 MacArthur Fellows named Tuesday for their excellence in intellectual, cultural and scientific endeavors. Like the other winners, Lerman, 54, who lives in suburban Washington, D.C., will receive $500,000 over five years.

House Passes Palestinian Sanctions

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill instructing the president to issue sanctions if the Palestinian Authority violates its peace commitments. The State Department Authorization Act, passed Wednesday by a voice vote, includes language originally contained in the Middle East Peace Commitments Act. The bill calls on the president to report every six months whether Palestinian leaders have complied with agreements they signed with the United States and Israel and, if not, to impose sanctions on them. However, the president can choose to waive the sanctions for national security reasons. The authorization act also would require the American Consulate in Jerusalem to be placed under the supervision of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Jerusalem residents as Israelis. The bill awaits Senate approval.

Terror Victim Saves Palestinian
Girl

A Palestinian girl was recovering after she received a kidney from a Jewish victim of a Palestinian suicide bombing. Seven-year-old Yasmin Abu Ramila, a resident of Jerusalem, had been undergoing kidney dialysis for nearly two years while waiting for a transplant. The family of Jonathan Jesner, a 19-year-old yeshiva student from Scotland, volunteered to donate his organs after he died last Friday, a day after a suicide bombing aboard a Tel Aviv bus.

Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.