Beyond the Russian Pale: Jewish Films, Live Klezmer Music, and Eyewitness Accounts
THIS EVENT IS BEING PRESENTED BY AMHERST GLEBE ARTS RESPONSE
AT THE HISTORIC ACADEMY OF MUSIC THEATRE, LYNCHBURG
AT THE HISTORIC ACADEMY OF MUSIC THEATRE, LYNCHBURG
Entire events dedicated to the memory of Rabbi John Nimon, with thanks for his service to the Agudath Sholom Congregation and Interfaith Community in Greater Lynchburg.
Afternoon Events 1-4:35 pm:
Evening Events 6:15-9 pm:
(prices here include fees and taxes)
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434-846-8499. Or click on the button below.
Please contact Lynn Kable of AGAR
if you have any questions:
if you have any questions:
Afternoon Events: 1pm to 4:35 pm
World renowned fiddler Alicia Svigals: Live Klezmer violin Workshop (Alicia will also play her original music for The Ancient Law (1923) with celebrated silent film pianist Donald Sosin (see below, right)
Alicia Svigals, violinist/composer and a founder of the GRAMMY-winning Klezmatics, is the world's foremost klezmer fiddler. Alicia almost singlehandedly revived the tradition of klezmer fiddling, which had been on the brink of extinction until she recorded her debut album Fidl in the 1990s. With the Klezmatics, Alicia and the Klezmatics recorded two albums for EMI with violinist Itzhak Perlman, which became the best-selling folk albums of all time. They performed with him on PBS' Emmy-winning In the Fiddler's House, on David Letterman, and in concert at Radio City Music Hall, Tanglewood, and Wolf Trap. In 2018, AGAR brought Svigals and jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer here to play their newly released album Beregovski Suite at Congregation Agudath Sholom in Lynchburg and at Temple Emanuel in Roanoke. As a composer, Alicia received the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s 2013 New Jewish Culture Network Commission, and was a 2014 NEA MacDowell Fellow. In June 2018, Flicker Alley released her score to the 1923 silent film, The Ancient Law (Das Alte Gesetz), co-written with pianist Donald Sosin, which they are touring internationally.
Summer in Ivye Film
The production was inspired by Rogoff’s first visit to Ivye in 1991 to see the home of her ancestors. Her father’s diaries from 1935 described Ivye as a place of great learning, culture, and beauty. On arrival, she found an isolated country town with painted wooden houses and cars driving around cows in the road. When Rogoff inquired about her relatives, an old woman led her to the Ivye Woods, explaining that on a single day, May 12, 1941, 2,524 Jewish residents of the town, including 29 Rogoffs, were killed there by the Nazis. From that moment, Rogoff conceived of a performance that would pay homage to these people and the layers of life that filled this once vibrant, predominantly Jewish town.
Three years later, she brought together an unlikely mix of actors—including renowned Lithuanian actor Kostas Smoriginas and Yiddish theater veteran David Rogow—dancers, musicians, and local townspeople to create a performance that surrealistically echoed life in Ivye before World War II. With warmth and humor, the film captures the group’s attempts to transcend differences in language, religion, and culture in order to tell a moving story of love and loss.
Live Talks and Questions and Answers Via Zoom
Tamar Rogoff will speak about Summer in Ivye and the performanance upon which it was based, The Ivye Project. The work was developed by Tamar based on entries from her father's diary of his 1935 visit to relatives still living in the shtetl of Ivye, then in Poland, now in Belarus. The film will just have been shown. Rogoff will discuss her work on this project from 1991, when she first went to Ivye, through the release of the film in 2001. Tamar Rogoff was raised and educated in New York City, and has been a dancer, choreographer, and director ever since. Tamar likes to work with specific communities or people. She once did an entire dance piece featuring parents dancing with their five-month-old babies. Another work showed dancers interacting with their own beds on stage, with a desperate need to fall asleep. So, it made sense when Tamar decided to direct and choreograph a work in Belarussian Forest, featuring a Lithuanian movie star, her own daughter Ariel, a Klezmer trumpet player, children, an elderly Yiddish Theatre actor, Estonian dancers, Belarussian musicians, and elderly Ivye survivors who had never previously appeared on stage.
Evelyne "Evi" Juliette Blaikie was born in Paris to Hungarian Jewish immigrant parents. After World War II (1939-1945) broke out and Nazi Germany overran Paris in 1940, her father, Herman, a member of the Communist Party, went underground. Soon after her mother, Magda, was caught in a raid and sent to a slave labor camp. At two and a half years old, Evi was taken to Hungary by an aunt under her male cousin’s passport…..Thus began her journey as one of the “Hidden Jewish Children.” For many years Evi tried to forget her childhood. It was not until 1991, at the first International Conference for the Hidden Child, that she finally reconnected with her past and started writing down the memories of her childhood. With another Hidden Child, she cofounded the Hungarian Hidden Children, a group that still meets once a month. Evi’s first full-length book is called Magda’s Daughter: A Hidden Child’s Journey Home. There is also a documentary about Evi’s experiences, directed by Rudy Vegliante, titled Remember Us: The Hungarian Hidden Children (2017).
Manfred "Manny" Marko (birth name Markowicz) was born in Berlin in 1929, the son of Polish-born parents who had immigrated to Gemany. Manny’s Journey started in 1938 when his family escaped to Antwerp, then in 1941 to Brussels, Belgium, where Manny lived in as a “Hidden Child” until liberated by the U.S. Army in1944.
Evening Events: 6:15 pm to 9 pm
Introduction: Films of the Weimar Republic
Paul Dobryden, assistant professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia, will introduce composers and live musicians for film's music, klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals and silent film pianist Donald Sosin.
Paul Dobryden received his doctorate in German Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2014. In 2016 he moved to Charlottesville, where he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia. He has published widely on Weimar cinema and culture in journals such as Studies in European Cinema, Colloquia Germanica, Modernism/modernity, and The German Studies Review. His book The Hygienic Apparatus: Weimar Cinema and Environmental Disorder is forthcoming with Northwestern University Press.
The Ancient Law (Das Alte Gesetz)1923 silent film, With live music composed by pianist Donald Sosin and violinist Alicia Svigals.
The Ancient Law is an important piece of German-Jewish cinematic history, contrasting the closed world of an Eastern European shtetl with the liberal mores of 1860s Vienna. With its historically authentic set design and ensemble of prominent actors – all captured magnificently by cinematographer Theodor Sparkuhl The Ancient Law is an outstanding example of the creativity of Jewish filmmakers in 1920s Germany.
Donald Sosin, celebrated Silent Film pianist and composer with klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals for Film “The Ancient Law”
The film will be shown at the Academy to newly composed live music by Donald Sosin and Alicia Svigals. The project started touring with original music in 2018 and the composers have recently added several new pieces.
Donald Sosin has been captivating audiences with his silent film music for over 50 years. He has been a film accompanist at MoMA since the the 1970s, and performs at major venues around the US, Europe and Asia, including the Lincoln Center Film Society, the Telluride Film Festival, the Seattle Film Festival, and many college campuses. He makes annual appearances at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Denver Silent Film Festival, Bologna's Cinema Ritrovato, and Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy. Donald lives in Connecticut with his wife and children. Website: oldmoviemusic.com.