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55 minutes | Film and Live Performance
Directed by Michael Waszynski (Poland, 1937) with a new edition by Adi Kaplan, Shachar Carmel & Sala-manca (2017)
Live dubbing by Lea Mauas and Diego Rotman (Sala-manca group), Singer; Ayu Rotman Mauas (Kaunas version), Live Follies by Adi Kaplan, Shachar Carmel and Ayu & Live Music by Kaunas Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Ido Shpitalnik
״The dead were returned to life, and a culture long vanished, wiped out by the Holocaust, was resurrected on the screen” (Ira Konigsberg)
A new, re-edited version of the Yiddish film will be screened with live music and dubbing performance in the courtyard of the former Jerusalem Leprosarium (Hansen House), a venue no less gothic than the film’s aesthetics.
The new, film-performance version is based on the film directed by Michael Waszynsky (1937), based upon S. Ansky’s play Der Dybbuk. Ansky wrote the play after completing the ethnographic expedition he organized between 1912-1914. The play (and film) tells the story of the ill-fated love between Hanan and Lea, the possession of Lea’s body by Hanan’s soul, the exorcism ceremony, and death as resolution – a re-encounter of the lovers in the next world.
Adi Kaplan, Shahar Carmel, and Sala-manca not only re-edited the film, they also replaced the original music composed by Henekh Kohn and the cantorial songs performed by Gershon Sirotta, with a new score. Performed live by the Jerusalem Street Orchestra, conducted by Ido Shpitalnik, the score is an adapted version of the Vltva (The Moldau), the second symphonic poem of Má vlast (My Homeland), by Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. The use of Smetana’s Moldau as a clear reference to Israel’s national anthem – resonating it, but different – creates a liminal sonic soundscape incapable of defining an accurate sense of place or ideology.
Lea Mauas and Diego Rotman of the Sala-manca group are professional and real life partners, possessing the voices of the “dead but eternal” characters, originally performed by another real-life couple, Lili Liliana (Leah) and Leon Liebgold (Hannan)
In the spirit of The Dybbuk, the artists visit the archive instead of the cemetery, and invite the dead to dance with the living once again.
With the support of Ostrovsky Family Fund, Artis Grant Program, Polish Institute – Tel Aviv, P.A.T. (Performance Art and Technology), Hazira, Jerusalem Municipality, The National Authority for Yiddish Culture, Bet Shalom Aleichem.
Stern, Zehavit. “Dubbing the Dead: Der Dybbuk 1937–2017 at the Jerusalem YMCA Hall.” TDR: The Drama Review, vol. 63 no. 2, 2019, pp. 158-166.
2019, Diego Rotman, “Danzando con los muertos: posesión y nacionalismo en el film-performance Der Dibuk 1937- 2017”, in El dibuk - Entre dos mundos. Un siglo de metáforas, edited by Susana Skura and Sylvia Hansman, Jujuy: EDIUN.
Diego Rotman, “My Homeland, Der Dybbuk: About Possession and Nationalism in the Old New Film Der Dybbuk (1937-2017)”, in Possession and Dispossession: Performing Jewish Ethnography in Jerusalem, edited by Lea Mauas, Michelle MacQueen and Diego Rotman. Berlin: De Gruyter, forthcoming 2022.
Version at the Israel Festival with the The Jerusalem Street Orchestra