Dancing into Writing

Published August 19, 2013 by rochellewisoff

            As a mime and interpretive dancer I’ve had some interesting opportunities over the years, from performing at outdoor festivals to prisons.

            How would this lead to writing?  Perhaps my title is misleading.

            The following video, now on You Tube, was the introduction to a play I co-wrote with my cousin, Kent Bonham, entitled The First Nights of Hanukkah. Both of us took on many roles ranging from actor to director. The dance number, filmed by Kent, opened the production. If you look through the black and white blur you might recognize the dancer. 

            Act one of First Nights is set in 1930. Hence, the reason the banner at the beginning of the film says “Kansas City 1930” (I’m not really that old). 


            Our somewhat rough collaboration was an exhilarating experience. Hours of character development and dialogue writing over Greek food and Turkish tea with a side of laughter heralded the beginning of my writing career. My first novel Please Say Kaddish for Me was originally to be a prequel to the play.  As often is the case, the characters wrote themselves in quite another direction.  Hopefully the manuscript, in my agent Jeanie Loiacono’s capable hands, will soon find a home while I edit the second novel, From Silt and Ashes. 

           Meanwhile, after eight years,  my passion’s  unbroken, my yearning’s unending.  

6 comments on “Dancing into Writing

  • I thought that was wonderful! The narrators words and the dancers expressions synced beautifully. Are you the dancer Rochelle? I know nothing about the performing arts so it’s a guess. Even the shawl used was a great prop that fitted well with the scene. Did you ever get to write the prequel? Anyways, a very sensitive and intuitive piece, thoroughly enjoyed it – Well done!🙂


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