In addition to telling the story of the life of David–the shepherd boy who became a Biblical King–the show also illuminates the citadel walls with hundreds of works of art made throughout history that have immortalized David. So viewers see Michelangelo’s famous carved marble David statue and Chagall’s bright painting of David with a harp, among dozens of others, as David is one of the most portrayed people in the art world.
My idea was to take people on a walk through a gallery of art,
said Renee Sivan, the museum’s archaeologist who curated the show. “Seeing these works of art lets people have a different appreciation and see the appreciation different people had for David.” Sivan, who previously created the museum’s other sound and light show, The Night Spectacular, which tells the story of the history of Jerusalem, wanted to present a fuller picture of David.
King David is not only a king, he’s a musician, a poet and also very very human,
Sivan said. But producing the life-like images of David and the other historical figures that illuminate the walls was not simple. Sivan wanted them to be historically accurate, in every detail, from what they wore to how they moved. “And that’s difficult because we have very few indications and pieces of archaeological evidence from the era of King David,” she said. She spent months researching what fabric dyes were available in the region at the time in order to portray David and others in authentic clothing. And she scoured museum collections around the world for visual evidence of historical events associated with David. For example, she relies on stone carvings found in Egypt to know what the Philistines, who fight David in a battle, looked like. “This is how I knew exactly how they moved and what they wore,” she said. Her goal was also to create a show that would appeal to a wide variety of audiences. And this one has something for everyone, she said, from beauty, to history, to art to action. She said she knew all her work was worth it when she recently took her 7-year-old grandson to see it.
His eyes were wide open, just looking the whole time,
she said. Tickets to King David are 55 shekels for adults, 50 shekels for senior citizens and 45 shekels for children ages 3 to 18. Combined tickets for both the museum and the show are 70 shekels for adults and 55 shekels for senior citizens and children