Nothing There There (Topography)

Nothing There There (Topography)

An embodied time-travelogue through Yiddishland (Belarus, Poland)

Nothing There There is a multi-disciplinary dance performance that examines the bodily experience of visiting sites that for 1000 years teemed with Jewish life and Yiddish culture prior to World War II. Challenging the notion that there is “nothing there,” this piece aims to transpose the fragments, feelings and perceptual frames that showed me what was and what is, There. Perhaps we can construct a new, imaginative space for continuation while wondering, what forms will we give to memory?

Nothing There There is about getting swallowed by borderlands, moss, lush forest. It’s about finding the past through the body. Time travelers become previous inhabitants of the land, emerge from the land, take the land with them. Movement, sculptural materials, costume, text and sound are all at play in this ever-shifting landscape of scale, inscribed pathways, borders and languages.

There is a there there.

Concept & Direction: Alexx Shilling
Brought to life by: Madison Clark, Daniel Miramontes, Justin Morris and Alexx Shilling
Original Sound: Zaq Kenefick
Costumes: Maria Garcia
Graphic Art: Betsy Medvedovsky
Scenic Design: Pedro Jimenez
Created with generous funding from  Yiddishkayt, Asylum Arts, PAM Residencies and the Santa Monica Arts Council
Special thanks to Rebecca Bryant and Pedro Jimenez


PAM Residencies, September 15-16, 2017

Annenberg Beach House BEACH DANCES, June 6, 2018

excerpt, EPHEMERA Vocal Warehouse, January 24, 2020