Carolyn Dorfman has created a celebrated body of work that honors her Jewish legacy, its trials and triumphs, its treasured uniqueness and, most importantly, its precious commonalities with the human race. While the human story has been at the heart of Dorfman’s diverse repertory, her Eastern European Jewish roots has proven to be at the core of her artistic work and process. She has come to understand that her artistic and personal growth and strength have come from her connection to her people and has been the impulse to connect her to all peoples. From interdisciplinary to intercultural collaboration, Dorfman’s passion is the commonality of the human journey explored through the rich tapestry of human experience, tradition and stories.
Dorfman explains: “We are a composite of the many steps we have taken since birth. There are defining elements and those that continue to chisel and shape our person and soul. As a child of Holocaust survivors, I had spent the last 18 years creating work that explored the pain of that experience for my parents, family and me. As I have grown, I have come to realize that to fully understand the profoundness of pain and loss, one must experience and celebrate the life that was interrupted. Sifting carefully through the rubble, I discovered a rich legacy and a story that had to be told. If not, the pain would remain and the lives and memories lost forever”.
Dorfman has sought to understand the life in all its range. With depth, humor and reverence, she draws on the rich Jewish legacy, its history, philosophy, traditions, gestures, music and liturgy to create work that is honestly personal yet powerfully universal.
She continues, “I understand that the conscious creation of work that reflects my Jewish legacy continues to be a significant and valued aspect of my work. Each work, from MAYNE MENTSHN (My People) to ECHAD (One), CRIES OF THE CHILDREN to ODISEA (Odyssey), is a ladle dipped into a historical caldron of faith, survival and renewal. It is story that is specific, yet shared by many. It is through my work that I seek to connect, share and build bridges within and between communities. More profoundly, I understand now that my entire repertory is informed by my legacy as well. In direct and indirect ways, each dance reflects a philosophy of life and art that is inextricably linked to my heritage and the ultimate humanness that it inspired.
The Legacy Project Programming:
Full Company performance of selected repertory (presenter requests welcome.)
Narrative performances (public and student matinees)
Panel discussions including members of the community*
Collaboration Workshops (Carolyn Dorfman Dance collaborating artists)
Presentations within the community by Carolyn Dorfman and/or members of the company
Collaborations with presenters, community partners (museums, social service, religious), K-12 schools (public and private) and universities.*
*Can take place the week of performance or months prior to build connection to the work and the artists.
The Legacy Project Repertory
Mayne Mentshn – Full evening work
Dance/Stories – Full evening work
Echad – 30 min
Odisea – 12 min
The Klezmer Sketch (from Mayne Mentshn) – 28 min
Cat’s Cradle – 20 min
Pastorale Pause – 17 min
He Walks On the Wings of the Wind: A Celebration of the Life and Art of Sam Maitin – 15 min (This work involves the integration of 16 community dancers (ages 8 and up.)
Carolyn Dorfman Dance can provide:
Study guides for all programming
High resolution photography for publication or graphic design
Program notes for work that provides context
Easily formatted press release information
Letters that are appropriate for various constituents and audiences that presenters may want to contact.