The Dybbuk, Chanon’s Clothing

Chiffon & net fabric suit, silk stockings.

A prop or costume for a planned performance of the Dybbuk story, this sheer suit embodies the person of Chanon, the betrothed boy who turns to dark magic to reconcile his broken promise and in the process becomes a Dybbuk. Custom designed and sewn to fit the artist, the suit can function as either a prop or a costume. In collaboration with Audrey Hawker, master craftsman of sewing, tailoring and period-accurate costume design.

A fixture of Ashkenazi folklore, a Dybbuk (literally from the word meaning “to cling to”), is a wandering disembodied spirit, trapped between this world and the world to come. Like ghosts, dybbuks feature in a variety of Eastern European legends, but the most well-known story was condensed from the oral tradition by ethnographer S. An-Sky (Shloyme Zaynvl Rapoport), in the early twentieth century. An-Sky turned the story into a stage play which was later adapted into a 1936 film, which these pieces refer to.

Choreographer Jerome Robbins & composer Leonard Bernstein, playwright Paddy Chayefsky and filmmakers the Cohen Brothers have all made works involving dybbuks. A performance is planned for these objects, intended to work through the various layers of symbolism in the An-Sky story. Interested dancers, choreographers, composers, singers, musicians and any other stage performers are encouraged to contact me with inquiries about the performance.