The Final Veil is a 60-minute collaboration by composer JL Marlor and dancer/choreographer Cassandra Rosebeetle. Through this show, we tell the remarkable and true story of Franceska Mann, a Polish-Jewish dancer who demonstrated resistance and strength amid the horrors of the Holocaust. When Mann was brought to Auschwitz, she and the other new arrivals were sent to the gas chambers and told to remove their clothing. According to eyewitnesses, Mann performed a distracting striptease, after which she managed to grab a gun, shoot, and fatally wound one SS Guard and injure a second, before her own subsequent death. As artists, we believe that this piece is a powerful example of the life of a woman who, in a time of crisis, was able to use her physical body as an act of resistance.
The most sobering facet of this project is that since we conceived of our collaboration there has been a dramatic rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes, culminating in the deadliest attack on Jews in US history at the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in 2018. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the total number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2018 is 48% higher than the number of incidents in 2016 and 99% higher than in 2015. 2018 was the third-highest year on record since ADL started tracking such date in the 1970s. This data clearly shows the resurgence of violent white nationalism in our country, demonstrating a shocking comparison to the rise of Nazi Germany. We’re inspired by Franceska Mann's act of bravery and in the midst of this devastating time in US history we hope to share her story and inspire others to take real action.
In 2019, we performed an intimate work-in-progress excerpt of The Final Veil at Abrons Art Center, and we've been hard at work expanding it into a full-length production. Ultimately our piece will be funded by institutions, but in the meantime to get the show off the ground, we are looking for support and funding for the next phase of development! We are asking for $5000 which will go towards:
-getting a recording of the score so that choreography can begin
-paying our writer, our director, our co-choreographer, and our audio engineer
Creating this piece together has been an incredible process for both of us, and we're so excited to delve into the final stages of development. Furthermore, it has been an inspiration to present Franceska Mann's story with an all-women creative team and cast. We're so grateful for the energy and support we've received for this project so far, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us to tell her story.
If you would like your donation to be tax-deductible, please contact us at [email redacted]
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