Secrets of the Paving Stones – 2003

Secrets of the Paving Stones

Choreography: Jonathan Hollander

Original cast: Kyla Ernst-Alper, Sean Scantlebury and Ruping Wang (Battery Dance) Tomasz Wygoda (Polish guest dancer)

Original Score: Jarek Bester

Performed live by Craców Klezmer Band: Jaroslaw Tyrala (violin),  Jarek Bester (accordion),
Oleg Dyyak (accordion, clarinet, percussion), and Wojciech Front (double bass)

The choreography for Secrets of the Paving Stones was begun by Jonathan Hollander in 2003 when he and members of Battery Dance were in residence in Kraków, Poland, participating in the European Conference on Tolerance with the support of the U.S. Embassy Warsaw.  He collaborated with locally based composer and virtuoso accordionist Jarek Bester and his ensemble of musicians in the initial stages of the work, as well as with Polish dancer Tomasz Wygoda. The backdrop of the production was the ancient spiritual history of the City of Kraków, home of one of the world’s first universities, and the transmogrifying events of the mid-20th Century when the City’s Jewish population was rounded up into the ghetto, the Kazimierz District, where Hollander and his dancers were working every day.  Continuing the creative process and its premiere in New York, Secrets took on a life that carried it to Japan, Malaysia, Israel – Jaffa, Germany, and beyond. Its title refers to the paving stones which, along with the willow trees of the Kazimierz District, hold the secrets of the past.


Created with support from the U.S. Embassy-Warsaw

PHOTO CREDIT — Richard Termine