The Dybbuk, which had its world premiere in Yiddish in Warsaw in 1920, has since been staged on five continents and 15 languages including Tony
Kushner's English language version in the mid-90's. This class will explore the richness of An-sky's play and its changing significance over the past 100 years, illuminating why The Dybbuk has resonated across time and generations.
“The most iconic play of...Jewish dramatic literature.”
Israeli-American composer Ofer Ben-Amots created a Hebrew language operatic adaptation of the classic play in 2007. It has since been performed a
half-dozen times, but never in New York City. This semi-staged concert performance of this chamber opera which features soprano Sophie Amelkin in the role of Leah, baritone Cantor Rafael Frieder in the role of the Rabbi, and clarinetist Kliment Krylovskiy in the role of Khannan, accompanied by Montage Music Society led by Debra Ayers consisting of clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion. For more information visit YIVO's website.
The Dybbuk - 1937 classic film & introductory talk"The Dybbuk and Jewish Folklore"
with Gabriella Safran, Prof. Jewish Studies, Stanford
The film, The Dybbuk, brings the classic play to the screen in a newly restored version. Shot on location in Poland in 1937 on the eve of World
War II, it was influenced by German Expressionism, and its exquisite musical and dance interludes evoke the cultural richness of the shtetl communities in the Pale of Settlement. The Dybbuk brought together some of Polish Jewry's most outstanding talents to create one of the last Yiddish films shot in Europe. The screening will be preceded by a talk by Prof. Safran discussing the folkloric traditions that infuse the story. (The talk begins at 1 PM, the film at 2:20 PM)
Composers have long been influenced by An-sky's The Dybbuk. In this chamber music concert, the Montage Music Society will perform works of Aaron
Copland, David Beigelman, and Ofer Ben-Amots that were inspired by An-sky's play. Copland's Vitebsk, which was written in 1928 while Copland was in Santa Fe, is the only serious Jewish-themed work in his oeuvre. Beigelman’s Dybbuk Dances were written in Lodz, Poland ca. 1925 for performance in the play. Ofer Ben-Amots’ music includes the Nigun and exorcism music from his opera, The Dybbuk—Between Two Worlds (2011).
with Nathaniel Deutsch, Prof. Jewish Studies, UCSC
In the early 1900s S. An-sky led an ethnographic expedition to study life in the shtetl, producing the most complete documentation of it that exists.
Today it is stored in St. Petersburg and little known in the West. He and his team collected photographs, folklore, songs, and beliefs from secular and religious life. In some sense, An-sky is the ethnographic counterpart to Sholem Aleichem, but his version of shtetl life has more grit than our beloved versions in Tevye and Fiddler. Drawing from the folklore of this culture, increasingly lost in the mists of memory, An-sky wrote The Dybbuk. In this talk we have a window into the life that inspired him to write this historic play.
COMING 2021 Jean Cocteau
The Dybbuk Comes to America in Coen Bros.'
A Serious Man(2010)
Intro and Q & A with Lois Rudnick
The Coen brothers only film that explores their Jewish identity takes place in suburban Minneapolis where they grew up during the 1960s. Described
by critics as the first Jewish film noir, it is rife with the tragi-comic dark humor that is the hallmark of their movies. A Yiddish tale from a 19th century Polish shtetl about dybbuk possession frames and inhabits the film, raising questions about the meaning of Jewish life in America at mid-century, and powerful existential questions about the meaning of life in a universe where questions about good and evil, truth and justice, and why “bad things happen to good people” are asked but not answered.