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 and film 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.

Live Performance
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
a film by Taso Papadakis and alexx shilling
co-directed and co-edited by Taso Papadakis and alexx ahilling
concepts and choreography by alexx shilling
cinematography by Taso Papadakis
brought to life by Madison Clark, Daniel Miramontes, Justin Morris and Katelyn Sanchez
art direction by alexx shilling
original music composed by Zachary Kenefick
assistant lighting design by Carol McDowell
This project is made possible with the support of Yiddishkayt’s David Shneer Memorial Grant of the Wallis Annenberg Helix Fellowship to foster new creative work rooted in Yiddish language, culture, and history.
Additional funding from 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