Sinai and Sunna: Covering, Uncovering and Recovering
Conversationsbetween Muslims and Jews need to happen. Sinai and Sunna helps generate and embody these conversations.
Sinai and Sunna: Covering, Uncovering and Recovering is a performance project in development, initiated by performing artist Andrea Hodos, director of Moving Torah.
This new project will bring together two powerful experiences: · A performance that weaves together the stories of religiously or culturally engaged feminists—Jews and a Muslims—searching for ways to bridge the gap between their religious traditions and the contemporary world. · A conversation following each performance that invites audience members into an interactive dialogue about the performance, gaining insight into one another’s perspectives and navigating the secular/religious or Jewish/Muslim “divide” with greater understanding and nuance.
While the premise of the work starts with head and body covering in each of our traditions, we will expand the metaphor of covering and uncovering to help flesh out identity issues among Jews, among Muslims and between Jews and Muslims. We are hoping to generate as much intra-faith discussion as inter-faith discussion.
Post-performance engagement which allows audience members to listen to one another’s responses to the work (rather than a simple Q & A with the artists after the performance) will create opportunities for audience members to be heard on issues important to them, and also have some of their assumptions challenged.
Through performance and audience interaction, we hope to engage and challenge "dichotomies" such as Jew/Muslim, Secular/Religious, Artist/Academic, Feminist/Traditionalist, in order to get us all thinking together -- artistically, intellectually, personally and politically -- about women, modern culture and religious traditions and identity.
Phase One (2016) · Identify interested storytellers and invite them to develop their stories in a workshop environment with no public performance. Open to all. (Spring) · Continue workshops with participants who would like to bring their stories to a more public venue. Some workshop participants may want to lend their stories to the project, but not participate as performers. Build toward a workshop performance with a trial version of the audience engagement excercises. (Summer)
Phase Two (2017 and onward) · Create a version of the work with either a small ensemble or two women, only, representing the voices of women who have leant stories to the project. · Performances throughout Los Angeles in different settings (synagogues/mosques, community centers, universities, theatres). · Prepare the project for touring to other cities – focusing on universities as the hub of activity. Build facilitation guides to help grow the venture.