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date: 23 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter the choreographers Alexx Shilling, Yehuda Hyman, and Suzanne Miller describe dances that both respond to and turn away from the defining legacy of the Holocaust. Shilling narrates the creation of her performance work Absence: A History. For both Shilling and her performers, the stage became a laboratory for re-imagining and re-embodying ancestral histories—destabilizing testimony and photography as the primary means of remembering. Hyman, vacationing in Germany, discovered that a memorial fountain had been built on the unexcavated remains of a former synagogue. He writes an instruction manual on how to prepare and execute a Jewish dance action and logs the action itself as well as its repercussions over the following two years. Moshe, Moishe, Moses documents Needle and Thread, a commemorative performance that grew from a list of six hundred names of Holocaust victims collected by Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Miller discusses how a rigorous choreography provides a means to bear the loss and honor the lineage of her Jewish forebears.

Keywords: dance, choreography, site dance, memorial, postmemory, Holocaust, Shoah, Yad Vashem, pages of testimony, Germany

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