The Dybbuk, Leah’s Braids
Synthetic wig and hair extensions, steel wire, welded stainless steel armature. Hook 36 x 4 x 35 in.
Wig 10 x 11 x 50 in.
A prop for a planned performance of the Dybbuk story, the braided wig is designed to hang in front of a performer, with the hook able to slide into the back of a corset, suspending the hairpiece with its posable wired braids in mid-air, responding to the movement of the performer’s body.
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.