Monday, November 25, 2013

Megan Kendzior calls us to "Witness"

Scenes from Witness by Megan Kendzior
Top photo by Crystal Edwards
Bottom photo by Victoria Sendra
Choreographer Megan Kendzior will present a new, full-length version of her ensemble work Witness, a Danspace Project commission, December 19-21. Although inspired by her visit to Auschwitz, Witness has broad and ongoing relevance. Kendzior considers it her form of protest against indifference. Its title can serve both as a noun and a command, a call to empathy and responsibility.

I began this piece in 2009 after I visited the Auschwitz concentration camp, and it has had many different incarnations. For this commission by Danspace Project, I created a new work under the same name.
It's a form of research that involves specific first-hand accounts of Holocaust experiences that we then translate through our bodies and our voices to provide an embodied historical depiction through the memory of one woman, referencing trauma in her past. She summons these other beings into the space.
I'm questioning the role of the spectator. With full respect and honor to victims of genocide and trauma, I want to continue to tell stories that challenge our current behaviors. I'm asking you to watch what's hard to watch and to go through it.

Witness will be performed at 8pm, Thursday-Saturday, December 19-21. On Friday, December 20, Kendzior plans to offer an afternoon performance of a shortened version including some of her young students from Harlem and a talk with one of the very few Latvian survivors of the Holocaust. For complete information and tickets, click here.

Danspace Project
131 East 10th Street (corner Second Avenue), Manhattan

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