“I propose to see the new performance-film The Dybbuk 1937-2017 not only as allegorical to the dybbuk itself or a possessed performance, but also as a collaboration with death, conversation between two worlds […] and a possible way to preserve Yiddish culture, reenact it, and render it immortal.”
Marian Loop, 2017
Written by S. Ansky in the early 20th century, The Dybbuk or Between Two Worlds has become one of the canonical plays of both Hebrew and Yiddish theatre, inspiring adaptations, scholarships, and artworks to this day. In this contemporary adaptation, Leah and Hannan’s tragic love story takes on a different form and a surprising new ending.
In The Dybbuk 1937-2017, the 1937 Polish film Der Dibuk (dir: Michał Waszyński) is subjected to artistic interventions and manipulations: The original score is silenced and replaced by a live orchestra that plays music by Bedřich Smetana, real-time Yiddish voiceovers and special effects by Sala-manca group, and songs performed by Ann Elizabeth. Just as Hannan’s ghost inhabits and speaks through Leah’s body, the soundtrack of the film is communicated through the mouths and instruments of the live orchestra and performers.
The film-performance created by Sala-manca, Kaplan, and Carmel is an iconic and layered event that reflects a multifaceted dialogue with death – the one found in the original story, with the dying Yiddish culture, and the dialogue generated by the revisit of the classic film, which grants the familiar story immortality.
The show was created with the support of Ostrovsky Family Fund, The Jerusalem Foundation and the Jerusalem Municipality
* In Yiddish with Hebrew and English subtitles