February 25, 2002

Sarah Ray



Posted: February 25, 2002

- 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.

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.

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.

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