Photo courtesy Buglisi Dance Theatre and Lincoln Center
It’s a dance, a mediation, and a prayer. But this year, because of social distancing, the performance of Table of Silence Project 9/11 included just two dozen performers on the plaza at Lincoln Center, instead of nearly 200.
"I think what's really special about this particular performance is that it is honoring a moment in our history, in New York's history,in America's history, but it's also a moment for reflection and meditation and it's so needed right now, and it shows New York's resilience," said Jordana Leigh, who worked on the programming of the event for Lincoln Center.
Ten years ago, Jacqulyn Buglisi and her dance company brought together performers from across the dance world to stage this ritual as an expression of peace and tolerance. It’s been live streamed each year, and this year, although the live performance was scaled back, virtual elements were added, all keeping the spirit of the work alive.
Dancers from across many well-known companies participate.
"There are several moments in the work where everyone comes together in collective breath and all of a sudden, the soundtrack becomes everything you hear around you that you didn't hear before. It just heightens your senses in a way that is a very unifying experience to witness," said Donald Borror of Dorrance Dance, which has helped coordinate this event each year.
Adding to that feeling of unity, the live stream included dancers around the world showing how they’ve been inspired by this dance. But the heart of this work is at Lincoln center.
"The composition is based upon the actual architecture of the stonework on the Lincoln Center plaza. That's a labyrinth. And Jackie has been working with labyrinths, and humans have been working with labyrinths for thousands of years. It's beautiful," Borror said.
The geometric designs are meant to be mediative and conjure peacefulness as they’re walked or, in this case, danced.
The performance and more is can be viewed anytime at www.Tableofsilence.org.