February 25, 2002

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: February 25, 2002

MIDDLEBURY, VT - Dance choreographer and filmmaker Tamar Rogoff’s visit to Middlebury College is as timely as it is introspective. As war and its various permutations grip our attention at the start of the 21st century, Rogoff’s quest to depict a soldier’s reality looks to wars past, including her father’s experience in World War II.

Combining music, video and text with dance, her centerpiece multidisciplinary performance, "Daughter of a Pacifist Soldier," will take place at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, in the Dance Theatre of the Center for the Arts on South Main Street (Route 30). Rogoff also offers her celebrated 1994 film, "Summer in Ivye," which will be shown at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in Dana Auditorium on College Street (Route 125).

Based in New York, Rogoff presents a uniquely multi-faceted approach to art, history and life. Her work grew, after her father’s death, from her desire to understand his war experience. Using oral histories and writings of veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, Rogoff created "Daughter of a Pacifist Soldier."

Rogoff began work on this production three years ago "when war was far from our shores," she said. "It was a child’s wish to know her father. The reason for listening in our present climate seems a preservation tactic. In order to have peace, we need knowledge."

The result is a multi-layered presentation that explores soldiering. Using six performers and various artistic mediums, Rogoff transforms true stories into theater.

To prepare for their roles, the performers each worked with a war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. The actors met with the veterans over a nine-month period to conduct and record interviews, which are used in the production.

Composer Ralph Denzer weaves parts of veterans’ conversations into his score; photographer and video artist Harvey Wang creates photographic portraits and an abstract video landscape; and Time magazine writer Josh Tyrangiel edits the text from interviews and writings.

Rogoff’s film, "Summer in Ivye," is set in the town where Rogoff’s family lived for generations and where, in 1942, Nazi soldiers executed the town’s entire Jewish population of 2,500. The film surrealistically recreates life in that once-thriving Jewish town with a collection of actors, dancers, musicians and local townspeople. "Summer in Ivye" has English subtitles, but a variety of languages are heard throughout the film: Polish, Yiddish, Russian, Lithuanian and English.

Both the film and the dance performance are sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series and the dance program’s Different Views Series.

Admission to the film "Summer in Ivye" is free. Tickets to the performances of "Daughter of a Pacifist Soldier" are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors. For tickets and information, contact the College box office at 802-443-6433.