A personal connection with a friend in Southern Germany had impressed me deeply and inspired me to action in 2004. The friend had mobilized her community around the saving of an historic building from demolition and restoring it. The building had special significance to her as it was the last remaining emblem of Jewish life in the town. Ultimately, a living museum was created that helped change the way people in the town thought about their traumatic past.
The effort was modest but it spoke of a passion to address the scars of history and to convert passivity into action. I thought that I could help bring attention to this worthy project by bringing Battery Dance Company to the town and staging a performance in the nearby amphitheater. I was joined in this ambition by another New York choreographer, Aviva Geismar, whom I had met through the unlikely coincidence of her father’s family having been Jewish residents of the same town. _