“Holy Names for Our Dybbuk” Przybysz / Weitz – a ritual performance

  • Time & Date 30.06.2024 / 17:00
  • Location area of the former German Nazi Labour and Concentration Camp Plaszow, Jerozolimska 3 Street
  • Original language PL / EN

    In Polish & English

The performance is a culmination of Jewish-American artist Julie Weitz’s extensive research during her tenure as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Poland. Centered on revitalizing Yiddish folklore in Poland, Weitz employs collaborative performance strategies that intricately weave together Yiddish dance, song, mask, and storytelling at sites of Jewish memory.


In Yiddish folklore tradition, the “dybbuk” is a wandering spirit that clings to a living body to communicate messages from the dead. Traditionally, a group of healers would loosen the spirit’s grip on the host body through a combination of interviews, prayers, and rhythmic chanting, culminating in a profound public demonstration of collective transmutation. Holy Names for Our Dybbuk reimagines a dybbuk exorcism for our times, as a movement-based score and site-specific ritual. The artists have chosen sites of Jewish commemoration in Poland to bring audiences and performers into direct and embodied encounters with Jewish grief embedded in the land. 


Created by Weitz, in collaboration with Polish choreographer Magdalena Przybysz, the 40-minute performance features Weitz as the lead performer and a multigenerational, Polish and Jewish-American ensemble. Weitz, as the dybbuk, becomes a channel for ancestral grief. Through rhythmic Hebrew chants and Hasidic-inspired choreography, the ensemble engages the dybbuk, creating a somatic and symbolic ritual to exorcize ancestral trauma from both the body and the land. 

Directed and performed by: Julie Weitz

Choreography: Magdalena Przybysz

  • Created by: Julie Weitz
  • Choreographer: Magdalena Przybysz
  • Performers: Barbara Kardyś, Magda Niedzielska, Michał Przybyła, Joanna Skrzyszowska, and Katarzyna Żeglicka
  • Costumes: Julie Weitz, Jill Spector, and Donna Stack
  • Film Consultant: Nessa Norich
Financed by

The 8th edition of FestivALT is made possible thanks to the support of the Matanel Foundation and the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund and it is organized as part of the "MultiMemo: Multidirectional Memory: Remembering for Social Justice" project, thanks to the support of the European Union under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) program.