Suki John's new choreodrama, Sh'Ma, will be staged in New York April 23-May 2. The theme, as the press release puts it, is for the world to "face its history and not repeat it."
Created in the wake of the Bosnian war, Sh'Ma links the Holocaust with issues of contemporary genocide. The story, inspired by the experience of John's own mother, follows a community of Hungarian Jews through WW II.
The "Sh'Ma" is a Jewish prayer, said daily, that honors God as one almighty power.
John, most known for his relation with the Cuban National Ballet, uses original music, traditional songs and dialogue to bring audiences to a universal understanding of war.
Yugoslavian composer Mitar "Suba" Subotic combines a synthesized score with recollections from actual survivors and prayers to create a realistic and haunted portrayal of the Holocaust. Dancers from Washington Irving High School's Performing Arts program were recruited to fill out the cast of Sh'Ma. The dance experience hopes to bring students to a closer understanding of history through movement.
Ticket for Sh'Ma are $7-$15. For reservations call (212) 924-0077.
-- by Becki Heller