DONI SILVER SIMONS and DONNA STERNBERG & DANCERS present 49 Days: Women Who Count. This work incorporates 42 female performers, a 7-channel soundscape, a visual installation documenting the creation of the work, and a post-performance discussion by the collaborators. The performance explores time, memory, and counting embodied within the roles of ritual and cultural identity. Counting is universal: being conscious of time and marking its passage is innate to mankind. We create calendars and mark off days; we leave our marks on the world and on each other. In 49 Days: Women Who Count, women serve as the “keepers of time.” They are the ones who count. The performers, representing days, move simultaneously, overlapping one another as the performance progresses. Similarly, the sound builds, filling the space as voices and movement become both past and present. Rhythms begin to echo heartbeats, creating a cacophony of sound. 49 Days: Women Who Count shows the evolution of ritualistically marking time.
The sound for this project is comprised of two parts. In the first section a progression of female voices count the ritualistic days of the Omer, a Jewish holiday that marks the time between Passover and Shavuot. The voices are spread across 7 channels, overlapping and repeating until all 49 days are being counted in unison. In the second section, the voices of the counting women are twisted into abstraction. Using only the recorded voices for sample source material, Riley Smith creates a detailed sound collage to accompany Donna Sternberg's Dancers.