MIRIAM'S WELL


“Miriam's Well” is an interfaith performance piece that draws from the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions. Interweaving dance, music, and sacred texts, “Miriam's Well” binds these three traditions to reveal their interconnectedness. This piece focuses on three representative female figures—Miriam, Maryam, and Mary. These three mothers share their experiences of receiving revelations at the well, a place of deep knowledge and faith. The work draws on the traditional expressive arts and rituals, contemporary theater and dance technique, emotionally engaging the audience in a rich image of a shared heritage. “Miriam's Well” features original choreographies and compositions by the collaborating artists.

The title “Miriam's Well” is inspired by a biblical myth (midrash) that describes a well that followed the ancient Israelites throughout their forty years of wandering in the desert. This abundant source of water was in Miriam's merit, and is said to have dried up upon her passing. The legend says that the well is now located in the Lake Kinneret, of northern Israel/Palestine, and is said to be found in the middle of the lake only on the full moon. By drinking from it, one may be cured of physical or spiritual illness. Both in Jerusalem and Nazareth there are “Mary's Well's” held sacred to both Christian's and Muslim's. The well is symbolic of the depths of our souls, and just as all three women reach deep to find their truths it is revealed that they all connect to the one source.

Water is the source of life, a human necessity and it's abundance a blessing in every tradition. The scarcity of water in the Middle-East has become a serious crisis, potentially even more dangerous than the religious and territorial conflicts. The very basic need to share water binds the people of the Middle-East together, since without peace the well will soon run dry.

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Artistic Inspiration

During the decade that I lived in Israel/Palestine, I came to see the effect of the powerful distrust and animosities that were poisoning the well, the universal source from which all three of the religious traditions are drawn. The inspiration for this piece comes from a deep sorrow that has grown in my heart from witnessing the breakdown of relations amongst the people based on their religious differences. My hope is that this piece will illuminate the common ground of these three traditions, offering a pathway for healing.

 

Artists Involved

*Director, Choreographer, Miriam Peretz
*Dancers/Choreographic Collaborators:
Carla De Sola, Hannah Romanowsky, Aliah Najmabadi, Miriam Peretz, Jade Raybin, Emelie Coleman, Kris Sague, and Roz Samimi.

Musicians

*The Qadim Ensemble – Mystical Music of the Near East
* Rachel Valfer, Faisal Zedan
*Vocalist/Songwriters: Bon Singer, Evelie Delfino Sales Posch
*Composer, Dan Cantrell
*Master Percussionist, Pezhham Akhavass
*Spoken Word Artist, Lana Nasser