Friday, November 16, 2018
About This Show
The Forgotten Kingdom's intertwining music and storytelling conjure voices from Sephardic communities lost to war and upheaval. It's an evocative trek through former Ottoman lands during the turmoil of the 1920's and 30's, during the rise of fascism. Rendering stories and songs of an older age with drama, humor and heart, The Forgotten Kingdom finds highly resonant, deeply moving connections to contemporary struggles, debates, and dilemmas.
The Forgotten Kingdom tells of the ending of an age, one whose passing begins with the traumas of the Great War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and whose definitive ending is ushered in by WWII. With sand animation, the tale will be told through glimpses and impressions captured in a book of memories found by a daring refugee girl upon her return to her ruined village in 1944. She does not know whose sketches these are. But in the pages she sees her own story, and that of her family. The sketches capture day-to-day life, from the final decades of the 19th century, on through the onset of WWI and ultimately chronicling the disillusion, betrayal and heartache that turned neighbor upon neighbor and covered entire communities with a 'shroud of oblivion' as tens of thousands were deported to camps like Auschwitz.The book is not complete. The show poses a hopeful question: How do you pick up the pieces? The show ends with the girl's determination to continue the story. As she embarks on a new beginning, she adds her own sketches to the book. The Forgotten Kingdom springs from Sephardi women's songs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All music is in the endangered Ladino language, a combination of archaic Spanish with Turkish and Greek. The narration is in English. The show weaves its tale impressionistically, through a series of vignettes with recurring characters and themes. The addition of Kseniya Simonova's captivating, nuanced visual storytelling will enable the show to reverberate on deeper levelsView the Performer's Website