Tales of Djoha - Voices of Sepharad
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Djoha Frequently Asked Questions

"While the Arabs and the Israelis were exchanging unkind words in the Middle East, David Harris treated [us]— Jews, Gentiles and Arabs to the tales of Djoha...the tales pulsed with our shared humanity and the ironies that come with it.

--Esam Abd El-Al, Media Critic, BelAhdan Channel 17


Who is Djoha?

Djoha is a folkloric figure who appears in Sephardic Jewish folk tales as well as in Arabic ones. He’s a trickster whose actions impart insight into the way the world works. Like a parable, they present an indirect way to learn about life through the trials and tribulations of a comedic character. Return to top

What’s an example of a Djoha story?

Djoha goes to his neighbor to borrow a pot in which to cook. The neighbor loans Djoha the pot and the next day when Djoha brings it back there’s another little pot inside. “Djoha, you brought me back two pots,” says the neighbor and Djoha tells him the pot gave birth. The following week Djoha asks to borrow the pot again and the neighbor is delighted, hoping to receive an additional pot in the bargain. A week passes and Djoha doesn’t return the pot. Finally the neighbor goes looking for him. “Where’s my pot?” the neighbor asks. “You know the pot that gave birth?” says Djoha. “It died.” Return to top

So the world is not always what it seems?

With all the troubles we have in today’s world, we wanted to explore the invisible reality of the neighborly bond, not just for Arabs and Jews but for everyone. The relationship of neighbor to neighbor is one of life’s pleasures, though conflict always seems more newsworthy. Tales of Djoha is not a political piece, but it does have political implications. These cultures have much more in common than most people understand. Return to top

What kind of research was done for the show?

Artistic Director David Harris developed the show from field work all over the world: North Africa, the Balkans, Israel, Spain and Turkey. “I’m a musician and have learned songs everywhere I’ve been. The colors and architecture of those places have penetrated the songs and to sing them to my satisfaction I must know what the landscape looks like.” Return to top

What should audiences expect from the show?

It will be funny and there will be fabulous music and dancing and Turkish-style shadow puppetry. Most of the music is from Morocco, Turkey and Israel, sung in a Judeo-Spanish dialect. It’s transformative. It takes you away. When people come to one of our shows they will learn about Sephardic Jews, but it’s really about something much more universal. Return to top

Tales of Djoha: Frequent Questions--Technical Requirements