September 25 - An American ballet troupe hopes to promote tolerance through the artistic portrayal of Holocaust horrors. Sharon Reich reports.
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It's a difficult subject, but the Ballet Austin tackles intolerance through movement in its production "Light / The Holocaust and Humanity project."
Based on the life of Holocaust survivor Naomi Warren, who was held in three concentration camps, the ballet chronicles her life and experience as she lost most of her family in the war.
The ballet debuted in Austin, Texas seven years ago.
Now Director Steven Mills is taking his message to a wider audience - performing the show at Israel's Acre Theater festival.
SOUNDBITE: Director of the Ballet Austin Steven Mills saying (English):
"Bringing it to Israel was a big step, it was a step that I took with great trepidation but I've been encouraged along the way by people who think that it's important."
Every year, crowds flock to the ancient port of Acre in northern Israel.
Mills' project offers the city -- once the Crusader capital of the Holy Land -- a timely reminder of the need to protect human rights.
Audience members Yael Tirosh and Freddy Shechter say using the arts to examine the Holocaust helps people relate to the tragic period.
SOUNDBITE: Haifa resident Yael Tirosh saying (English):
"We're longing, we long for something else, the youth long for something else to see another point of view, to see something they can connect to see it in other face to see the other, enough of talking."
SOUNDBITE: Freddy Shechter of Acre saying (English):
"The Holocaust was something too big but I think that today, make it one of our lives, performances, songs, books, I think it's a part of life and it has to be like this."
Ballet Austin's final performance in Israel will take place in the Beit Haam auditorium where senior Nazi organizer Adolf Eichmann stood trial 50 years ago.
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