Pesach at the Monte

April 2, 2013 by Judy Singer
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If Passover is a celebration of the handing of our cultural baton from generation to generation, then few seders could have been as moving as the Pesach concert given by mother and daughter duo, Dahlia and Lily Dior at Sydney’s Hunters Hill Montefiore. As I sat between my own mother and daughter I was moved to tears by the beauty, power and passion of the Dior women’s singing…writes Judy Singer.

Dahlia Dior

Dahlia Dior

It was the perfect place, there amongst the mighty generation that is passing,  to feel the history and spirit of our people as it moved through the last terrible, momentous century.

And nobody embodies this musical transition better than our resident diva, Dahlia Dior.

She comes from a Jewish tradition of song and story that is fast disappearing, and what a privilege it is to be present to witness it.

What musicians now give their entire lifeforce, heart and soul as a gift to their audience, the way Dahlia does? Her face radiates the joy of performance.  Her hands reach out towards the the audience almost viscerally pulling us into her love of her music. And through her song we feel again the ecstasy, the sorrow, the triumphs of our people.

After 50 years as a performing artist, Dahlia Dior is a dynamo.  When you wonder how she can find the energy, she reaches inside herself for more, and gives back more, now throwing her hands to implore the heavens, or throwing a triumphant fist in the air against oppression. One minute she is keening with the cantors of old, the next she is dancing to the glory of her song. It’s a mercurial celebration of pride in the musical treasures of our culture. And let’s not forget, what a voice! In the end she throws her arms wide in pride at her own accomplishment, and her pride seems to encompass all of us.

We don’t make divas like Dahlia any more. She is our communal treasure.

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