- An amusement or diversion intended to hold the attention of an audience or its participants.
Entertainment comes in many forms, including singing, dancing, acting in theatre or in film or playing a musical instrument. Certainly the terms extends to comedy acts, acrobatics, and a broad spectrum of other types of performances. Yet there seems to be no definition to describe an accurate characterization of the performance of Michael Israel.
“Michael Rocks! It’s an eye opening thrill you won’t believe until you see it for yourself and anup lifting moment you’ll never forget. “
- Entertainment New & Views
While those who have seen his spectacular performances have attempted to explain the experience by creating hypothetical hybrids like, Cirque du Soleil meets Pablo Picasso, or part Monet, part David Copperfield, or even Blue Man Group. True, his shows may share similar facets as others in terms of the basic elements of time, space, and use of the performer’s body. Presence of a specific theme and the vital importance of music throughout the production are also common denominators. Such comparisons, however, fail to hit the mark of an accurate description for what is ultimately a unique, all encompassing show.
“The crowd goes crazy as Israel moves with the music to create spectacular images.”
— the Sun Press
The first indication that Israel is up to something totally fresh and different is the immediate relationship he has with his audience. Attention to the stage is not commanded or coerced as much as it is enticed. It may be sheer curiosity that initially captures the audience as Israel’s energy is instantly felt through the arena. Clad completely in black and painting on a canvas, the tone is set for what will prove to be an explosion of color and incredible imagery. Michael’s dedication to the study of martial arts and a rigorous training schedule are immediately put into play. His lithe, pliant body lunges forth as he brandishes any number of paintbrushes, stroking, slinging or hurling vibrant colors of paint in time with the music. The audience is captivated by the spectacular visual display unfolding in front of them. Simultaneously they are swept into the performance itself, caught in the frenzy of nearly magical movement, music, and emotion materializing with each rhythmic stroke.
Crowd pleasing “art rock” performances
– USA Today
For many, the frenetic fluidity of Israel’s may feel like it is almost a private performance. So strong is the connection between artist and spectator, it can seem like a particular image is being created specifically for a single member of the crowd. The increasing flow of energy passed between Michael and his audience is an integral part of his performance, drawing the audience in as a participant rather than as a mere bystander.
- Time Magazine
Noticeably absent is the idle murmur of conversation in the room. It is replaced with a virtually audible anticipation, then intermittent gasps as Israel spins canvas to and fro, carving shapes and colors about with what appears to be gravity defying grace and agility. ‘Ooohhhs’ and ‘ahhhhhhs’ of surprise and recognition are heard as the music builds to a crescendo and Michael’s composition takes shape. By the time a piece is completed, the crowd is on their feet, cheering, applauding, and at times, giving in to the flow of emotional tears.
Michael Israel’s subjects cover a vast array of topics; from popular cultural icons such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana to patriotic scenes and landmarks to his original, heart warming original compositions. While his work gives a nod to Norman Rockwell, or early Peter Max, Israel’s style is uniquely his own. Each piece appears to be created specifically to touch his audience and their delighted reaction is proof of his success.
“I’d like to thank Michael Israel for providing entertainment here tonight.”
- President George W. Bush – 2003 Presidential Gala
Unlike other performances, Michael Israel’s is without gimmick or guile. It is artistic entertainment in the truest form. One cannot help but realize that what they have experienced is the pure exhilaration of the artistic process, fortified by the audience’s powerful energy connecting to Israel as he creates. One is not so much an observer or a witness, but an active, cogent participant in the spell-binding, breath-taking production, and it is a fabulous event.
“Paint flies and the good times roll. Kung-fling! Part-Jackie Chan, part-Jackson Pollock, 100 percent rock god – Charismatic performance artist and martial arts master Michael Israel inspires the sort of fan worship that has audience members rushing to the stage to retrieve his dripping, discarded paintbrushes as souvenirs.”
- Doug Mason, News Sentinel Knoxville