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Products for grant FT-59814-12

Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance
Rebecca Rossen, University of Texas, Austin

Grant details:

Dancing Testimony, Choreographing Survival (Book Section)
Title: Dancing Testimony, Choreographing Survival
Author: Rebecca Rossen
Editor: N/A/
Abstract: This is a chapter of my book in progress, now titled Moving Memory, but previously titled (when awarded the Summer Grant): Holocaust Dances: Representations of the Holocaust in Contemporary Dance. The chapter (draft) is 80 pages. ABSTRACT: How has contemporary dance theater staged survivor testimony? How might such works embody trauma and the complexities of survival? How might these dances bridge the distance between past and present, history and art, survivors and their pasts and audiences in the present? This chapter focuses on three full-evening pieces that engage with the testimony of specific Jewish, female survivors: Joseph Mills and Ballet Austin’s Light: The Holocaust and Humanity Project (2005), based on the life of Naomi Warren (1920–2016), a Polish Jew who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ravensbruck, and Bergen-Belsen; Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company’s Analogy: Dora/Tramontane (2015), set to the oral history he conducted with Dora Werzberg Amelan (1920–2020), a French Jew of Polish descent who survived the war working for the Jewish underground in French transit camps; and Szabo and The Symptom’s Sea Lavender and the Euphoria of Being (2016), which provided Fahidi (b. 1925), a Hungarian-Jewish survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Allendorf (Buchenwald), with a platform to tell her own story. Each work had disparate goals, utilized their source materials differently, and are aesthetically and choreographically distinct. However, all three are examples of what I term "testimony dance," dance performances that are based on the oral histories of survivors and utilize a variety of corporeal, visual, choreographic, sonic, and textual means to mobilize testimony, memory, and history.
Year: 2020
Publisher: N/A
Book Title: Moving Memory: Holocaust Representation in Contemporary Dance (book in progress; new title)

Dancing Jewish: Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance (Book)
Title: Dancing Jewish: Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance
Author: Rebecca Rossen
Editor: Norm Hirschy
Abstract: While Jews are commonly referred to as the "people of the book," American Jewish choreographers have consistently turned to dance as a means to articulate personal and collective identities; tangle with stereotypes; advance social and political agendas; and imagine new possibilities for themselves as individuals, artists, and Jews. Dancing Jewish delineates this rich history, demonstrating that Jewish choreographers have not only been vital contributors to American modern and postmodern dance, but that they have also played a critical and unacknowledged role in the history of Jews in the United States.
Year: 2014
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Link to OUP's page for my book, Dancing Jewish.
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Blog post, "Hasidic Drag in American Modern Dance." OUP asked me to write to promote my book. The material offered is related to, but not excerpted from, Dancing Jewish.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780199791774
Copy sent to NEH?: No