The NDSS dance program presents Terezin, which tells the story of a Jewish art teacher during the Holocaust, at Malaspina Theatre on Jan. 17. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo District Secondary School dancers to perform at Malaspina Theatre

Original production ‘Terezin’ tells the story of a Jewish art teacher during the Holocaust

Following a successful festival run last fall, the Nanaimo District Secondary School dance program is bringing an acclaimed production to the general public for the first time.

Terezin is a Second World War-era movement piece that uses dance and narration to tell the story of Friedl Dicker–Brandeis, a Jewish art teacher living near Prague who was sent to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in the Czech city of Terezin before ultimately dying at Auschwitz.

“Friedl herself is a remarkable woman who used art – she’s sort of one of the first to use art therapy – with kids to allow them to process what was happening,” said Kelly Barnum, NDSS history and dance teacher. “I just hope people can kind of get a glimpse into this remarkable woman’s story because not lot of people know her story and they really should.”

Barnum created the piece with choreographers Chamberlan Teghtmeyer, a Grade 12 student, and Sarah Kielly, an NDSS grad and Tempo Dance Academy instructor now in her first year at Vancouver Island University. Terezin will be performed at Malaspina Theatre on Jan. 17.

So far the production has been very well received. At the Vancouver Island One Act Festival in November it won Best Original Script, Best Play and Teghtmeyer earned the Certificate of Merit for Female Actor in a Leading Role. Later at the North Island Regional Drama Festival Terezin was selected as the alternate to represent the Island at the provincial festival and picked up honours for Ensemble Excellence in a Drama, Outstanding Production, Outstanding Sound Design and Scoring, Outstanding Movement and Choreography and two Excellence in Acting awards for Teghtmeyer and dancer Jasper Henigman.

Kielly said it was challenging working with a subject as serious as the Holocaust. She said at first she was worried the message wouldn’t come across properly in her choreography or people would take the dancing the wrong way.

“I think for me that was just a process of working with my dancers, getting feedback and what looks best on them, and then I would just create images and then Ms. Barnum and I would just write the script as I was choreographing it,” she said. “And I think that really helped me; to just listen to the music, think of the story and just create this art.”

Teghtmeyer said she didn’t know she would be playing Dicker-Brandeis until production started. She calls Dicker-Brandeis “an iconic woman in history” and approached the role with due respect.

“Having the opportunity to go onstage and physically show people what she did and the impact she made on society and the children in the ghetto, it was really hard to do but I just hope I did it justice and it definitely changed me as a performer,” she said.

WHAT’S ON … Nanaimo District Secondary School’s dance program presents Terezin at Malaspina Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 17. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7. Tickets $10 for adults, $8 for students, available at the door or in advance at the NDSS main office.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Truck convoy honouring Nanaimo boy who died after being struck by vehicle

Trucks left from Victoria and others joined along the way up the Island

Nanaimo women look for forward steps at march

Nanaimo Women March On held downtown on Saturday

Nanaimo candidate, premier address spec tax at B.C. NDP event

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

RDN board to vote on spending $150,000 for mapping software

ESRI Canada successful RFP proponent, RDN to vote as part of 2019 budget

Nanaimo’s École Hammond Bay school unveils new gym expansion

Larger gym can accommodate home games and assemblies

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Support pours in for Vancouver Island couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read