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An Emotional Performance for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the day the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated, as well as the end of the Holocaust. It is also a day for remembering the 6 million Jews that the world lost to this genocide.

To recognize the significance of this day, KleinLife hosted a special virtual performance by ARTIST HOUSE, led by its Artistic Director, Asya Zlatina. Inspired by children’s artwork from Theresienstadt, a World War II concentration camp in the Czech Republic, the performance attempted to imagine a live version of the drawings. Each scene was represented by sections in the piece, set to Brahm’s 16 waltzes, and brought to life through movement. The free program, supported by a grant from The JFNA Center on Aging and Trauma, a project of the Holocaust Survivor Initiative, was presented in both English and Russian to accommodate Holocaust Survivors in the Revive program and community guests.

The importance of this performance was to create conversation surrounding the topic of the Holocaust. “More programs like this are very much needed to raise awareness, so this horror does not happen again,” said Irina, program attendee and Holocaust Survivor from the Former Soviet Union. “The show offered us insight into history, which is often not taught in schools. This is so important for young people and future generations.”

After the performance, Zlatina showed the children’s artwork to inspire her performance and shared the common themes and emotions between them and the production. From the chosen lighting to the costumes to the positions of the dancers on the stage, each number brought the selected artwork to life with its raw emotions being lifted from the page. “I was immersed in it and could really feel it,” exclaimed Hana, program attendee and Holocaust Survivor from the Former Soviet Union. Batya, another program attendee, adds,” I am now looking to read more on my own (about the drawings).”

Due to the heaviness of the topic, the program concluded with a positive movement sequence led by Zlatina, where the attendees were welcomed to feel the joy of motion with light music.

Click here to see the NBC10 television news segment about the program.


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