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Liz Lerman: Looking Ahead, Looking Back
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Dancers & choreographers; Dance
Author: Traiger, Lisa
Date: Oct 27, 2006
Start Page: T.24
Section: WEEKEND

There's a small but telling moment in "Still Crossing," choreographer Liz Lerman's 1986 work about the immigrant experience. Dancers -- young, middle-aged and old, trained and novice -- simultaneously strike a pose: right arm lifted proudly like the curving prow of a ship, body facing front, while the left arm reaches back and the eyes follow, gazing into the distance. Those few seconds seem emblematic of Lerman's feelings as Dance Exchange, the critically lauded company she founded and has nurtured, turns 30.

In an approach that Lerman calls "nonfiction choreography," she developed a libretto of sorts, culling ideas from history books, speeches and interviews with World War II veterans and concentration camp liberators. The trials of the Nazi war criminals continue to be relevant, Lerman says, when dealing with more recent atrocities: genocide in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

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