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The Holocaust in Modern Dance: Rami Be’er on “Aide Memoire”

Posted on 04 June 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Aide MemoireKibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Rami Be’er’s Aide Memoire.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Suzanne Dellal’s Big Stage festival will close on Saturday, June 6th with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s performance of Rami Be’er’s Aide Memoire (Hebrew title: Zichron Dvarim).   I was struck by the dance’s power when I first saw it last year – but rather than telling you my perspective in this post, I’m going to bring you a different viewpoint: that of the choreographer himself.

Below is a guest post by Rami Be’er, choreographer and artistic director of the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company.

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The Holocaust in Modern Dance (guest post by Rami Be’er)

As a son of Holocaust survivors, I tried to deal with the horrors of the Holocaust, but it took me years until I felt mature enough to do so.  My parents filled the house with art and music, raised us in an Israeli Kibbutz, started a new life and never mentioned the past.  Same as with me, it took decades until they started to speak.

When I felt ready to deal with the horrors of the Holocaust, I created the piece Aide Memoire.

In Aide Memoire, I tried to illustrate the feeling of being “trapped.”  The dancers move ecstatically, trapped in their personal turmoil, spinning while swinging their arms and legs, and banging on the wall; some are crucified, unable to move freely on the stage.

Aide Memoire is not only about the Holocaust.  It deals with matters relating to present life and reality.  It deals with violence, wars, and their impact on our lives.  I created this dance in order to scream: Stop the violence!  Stop the holocausts! Continue Reading

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