A city, a community, a war, a ghetto, a displacement, a farewell, a promise for an uncertain meeting after the return to a place that may no longer exist.
Felix Mendelssohn’s heart-breaking composition of his youth, with the above-mentioned title, meets in this project the story of separations that took place hundred years later. A town that lost many of its inhabitants, houses that suddenly were left abandoned, families who were split and crammed into trains with an unknown destination. Hands that didn’t have time to embrace, caress, say goodbye.
A project which is a tribute to the citizens of emptied cities. At night the breeze brings their voices and songs to the neighbourhoods where they once lived.
The background of this project is a narrative of my mother about the extermination of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki, including several of her friends, in 1943 as part of the systematically applied “final solution”. Over the time span of only some months – with gradual restrictions, and finally a complete imprisonment in the ghetto – about 50.000 of the city’s Jewish inhabitants were dispatched with the “trains of death” to the Nazi extermination camps.
The piece aims to give a human face and a voice to those who perished. In this endeavour I encountered Leon Saltiel’s book “Don’t forget me”- Letters of three Jewish mothers to their sons from the ghetto of Thessaloniki. It struck me to the heart, like everyone who has read it. With his kind collaboration and the generous permission and guidance of Eleni Saltiel, wife of Maurice Saltiel we have been able to use extracts from the letters of Sarina Saltiel mother of Maurice, and through her vivid and loving letters to him, to trace her tragic and hazardous path.
Direction / Choreography: Andromachi Dimitriadou Lindahl
Music: 2nd string quartet op. 13 by Felix Mendelssohn
Texts: extracts from the letters of Sarina Saltiel to her son Maurice, from the book “Don’t forget me” Curated by Leon Saltiel, Τranslated by Eleni Saltiel
Set / Costume design: Elena Katsouri
Lighting: George Lazoglou
Narrator: Vasilis Vasilakis
Fusonia Quartet: Sorin Alexandru Horlea (viola), Robert Grod (cello), Marios Ioannou (violin),
Savvas Lagou (violin)
Dance/ Co-creation: Maria Chrysostomou, Polina Ioannou, Vicky Kalla, Aneesha Michael
Graphic design: Ernst Lindahl
Production: Asomates Dynameis Dance Company with the support of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Athletics of Cyprus, within the Terpsichore 2020 program, the kind support of the Rialto Theatre, The Pallas Theatre and the Embassy of Israel, in the context of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the State of Israel and the Republic of Cyprus.
Special thanks to Eleni Saltiel and Leon Saltiel for their guidance and trust, to Ingemar Lindahl for his support, to Asa Protoppapas for her assistance with Public Relations, to the Theatre Organization of Cyprus, to the Egomio Cultural Centre for the hospitality.
Copyright: AsomatesDynameis@Is it true 2020 (all rights reserved)