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Buglisi Dance Theatre and Lincoln Center present reimagined ‘Table of Silence Project 9/11’

2013 'Table of Silence Project 9/11' at Lincoln Center. Photo by Terri Gold.
2013 'Table of Silence Project 9/11' at Lincoln Center. Photo by Terri Gold.

Buglisi Dance Theatre and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with Dance/NYC, will present a reimagining of the Table of Silence Project 9/11, an annual free public performance ritual for peace conceived and choreographed in 2011 by Jacqulyn Buglisi, artistic director of Buglisi Dance Theatre. 

Reimagined for our current moment, Buglisi’s collaborators on the 2020 edition include Composer/Music Director Daniel Bernard Roumain, spoken-word poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Buglisi Dance Theatre Co-Founder/Principal Dancer Terese Capucilli. 

'Table of Silence' dancer Christopher Renfurm.
‘Table of Silence’ dancer Christopher Renfurm.

The site-specific work had its first presentation on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 on Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center. Since the inaugural performance, more than 1,200 professional dancers, musicians and singers representing the voices of the NYC arts community in all its diversity have performed to viewership reaching close to one million people across all 50 states and in 129 countries via livestream.

A multi-cultural performance ritual for global unity and peace featuring dancers from all corners of the world, the Table of Silence Project 9/11 typically features more than 150 dancers who slowly ascend onto Josie Robertson Plaza from multiple directions with the sound of a conch shell’s call to action for peace. Moving to the minimal, plaintive strains of the flute, the “heartbeat” of bass drums, trumpet, bells and the cries of a chorus, the dancers form three concentric circles around the iconic Revson Fountain, while repeating 12 symbolic ritualistic gestures to manifest an ancient Peace Labyrinth. 

This year, Buglisi is creating a new Prologue in which 24 dancers from Buglisi Dance Theatre, Ailey II, Alison Cook Beatty Dance, Ballet Hispánico’s BHdos, The Juilliard School, Limón Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company and professional dancers from the NYC community will perform live, encircling Lincoln Center’s Revson Fountain. With featured Guest Artists electric violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and spoken-word poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph. 

The socially-distanced performance will be live streamed from Lincoln Center beginning at 7:55am on Friday, September 11, and conclude at 8:46am, the time the first tower was hit on 9/11/01, followed by welcome remarks from industry leaders, a new world premiere film featuring dancers from around the world and the full 2019 Table of Silence Project 9/11. Part of Lincoln Center at Home, the offering will be streamed at LincolnCenter.org and on Lincoln Center’s Facebook page. The video will also be available on-demand following the premiere on LincolnCenter.org/TableOfSilenceProject and Buglisi Dance Theatre’s YouTube channel

'Table of Silence Project 9/11'. Photo by Lincoln Center.
‘Table of Silence Project 9/11’. Photo by Lincoln Center.

“This reimagining of the Table of Silence Project 9/11 is a powerful message for healing as we struggle with the global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice,” Buglisi said. “We honor all those whose lives are impacted by the crises our country is facing. Expressing so much of what makes us human, the Table of Silence Project’s message of peace and healing is far-reaching and holds great relevance today, in addition to the 9/11 commemoration. It strives to be a transformative experience that reveals the strength and resilience of our collective society.”

“The arts can connect us, reveal collective truths, and help us process so much in our world that can seem overwhelming and impossible,” said Henry Timms, president and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. This work is a stunning example of the power of the arts. It is our honor to have it on our plaza once again, in a reconfigured form for our current times.” 

For more information, head to lincolncenter.org/lincoln-center-at-home/show/table-of-silence-project-911

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