In this guest post Author Diane Samuels (Kindertransport) and Composer Maurice Chernick (of music group Shir) discuss their upcoming event and the journey that led to them creating ‘SONG OF DINA.’ I am proud to be part of this amazing collaboration between theatre and music….
‘We first knew each other as teenagers in Liverpool where we grew up in the 1970s. We both took part in more than a few productions put on by the drama group at our local community centre, including musicals for which Maurice wrote songs and music. Fast forward forty years and, now in our mid-fifties, we have both been moved by various conflicts throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East, to search for the source and discover what lies at the heart of things. This has taken us into stories, mythologies and, most notably, sacred texts, in particular to the book of Genesis in the Bible and to one character in particular..
Dina is only sister of Joseph, whose colourful coat has drawn so much attention. Her own story is contrastingly brief, raising many more questions than it answers. It begins when she, a young woman, “goes out” into the world to meet the women of other tribes. This one action leads to a chain of violent events and yet her role, feelings and what exactly happens when Shechem, prince of a local tribe, supposedly “forces” her are unclear. If she is raped by him, why does he go to great lengths to prove his love for her? How does she then regard his marriage proposal and her brothers’ ruthless revenge, wiping out all the men in his tribe?
Now is surely the time at long last to give Dina a voice, particularly with music which speaks across languages, faiths and cultures, connecting us readily to what lies deep within our hearts. Our aim is to address the violent rift that occurs in Dina’s world, still so alive today, in order to offer an opportunity for enlightenment and insight, some kind of mending.
We aim to create a full concert performance with instrumentalists, singers, actors, which we want to stream live and record for future distribution. We need support to do this as fully and beautifully as possible.
We wish to invite you to be our guest at this special event at JW3, 341-351 Finchley Rd, London NW3 6ET on WEDNESDAY APRIL 6th at 7.45pm to launch our campaign to mount a concert and live recording of our new work SONG OF DINA, a contemporary oratorio with spoken word for instrumentalists, choir, actors and soloists. The evening will include live music and song, extracts from the work in progress, and the opportunity to view artworks by a number of artists, including a lovely watercolour and 3 larger works by Natasha Jade, kindly donated to support the project. There will also be drinks and refreshments.
So please come along to share something of the creative process to date, find out plans for future development, and find out more about Dina.’
Click here for more information or RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.