ZACHOR: Honoring WWII Holocaust Survivors Through Dance
Images by Lisa Link
ZACHOR is an ongoing project series that seeks to preserve the words and eternalize the stories of WWII Holocaust Survivors through dance. We have a fundamental human responsibility to remember these events. Communities who fail to remember the atrocities of the past ultimately allow history to repeat itself. For this reason ZACHOR aims to educate diverse audiences on the millions persecuted and killed under the Nazi Regime due to their religion, ethnicity, sexuality, and political beliefs. With this work I hope to open up conversations across communities and build empathy. This project has received generous funding from Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the City of Boston Opportunity Fund.
Uncovering is a virtual presentation of short solos choreographed through ZACHOR's pilot workshop series. This collection of dances is inspired by memories from Holocaust Survivor Aaron Elster’s memoir, which the performers were compelled to explore and retell. Through a guided post-show Q&A, dancers articulate their experience participating in this research, discussion, and creation based workshop series. Audience members will learn about Aaron’s story, the process of preserving testimony through movement, and the importance of continuing to study, discuss, and uncover empathy within these moments of history today. The research presentation was held on Zoom, Sunday, February 28th, at 5:30 pm EST. If you missed this presentation you can watch the dances and discussion using the link below!
"Do I Want to Remember?"
Do I Want to Remember is a Modern Dance piece utilizing words of Alexander Kimel. This work premiered as part of Yom Hashoah programming at Elon University in North Carolina and was presented at the Huntington Avenue Theatre as part of Boston Contemporary Dance Festival in 2019.
Jewish Advocate Interview
Selection, is a site-specific dance filmed at New England Holocaust Memorial. Since its premiere in Fall 2020, Selection has been chosen as a Finalist at the Prague International Monthly Film Festival, and presented in Nozama’s virtual Empower one Another festival, Athen's International Monthly Film Festival, Collective Exchange’s FRAMES festival, Mostra Internacional de Dança Imagens 2020, and Earl Mosely's Diversity of Dance inaugural Dance is Activism Film Festival.
Selection was choreographed and directed by Rachel Linsky, and filmed and edited by Olivia Moon Photography. The Choreography for Selection was created using the words of Bernard Marks and memories and images of Agi Geva and Elie Wiesel.
Next Up: "Hidden"
As a 2020-2021 Artist in Residence at Chelsea Theatre Works, I am creating “Hidden”. This new work is inspired by the memoir of survivor Aaron Elster, and seeks to explore the importance of studying the WWII Holocaust among diverse communities today. Stay tuned for project updates and opportunities to get involved as both audience members and dancers in this work!
“Dancing in this work at a memorial site was such a loaded, humbling experience that was not taken lightly. Rachel Linsky took such care developing this very personal and haunting work. The piece is rooted in family history, research, text and imagery from primary accounts of Holocaust Survivors, and a speech made by a survivor tying the breaking of his community to what is happening in the US with ICE and immigrant families. We all approached this as art that interacted with the memorial - calling attention to its intention of remembrance, and honoring stories through movement and embodiment”. - Erin McNulty, Dancer in ZACHOR