September 22nd, 2010

Security Dances
Washington Jewish Week by Lisa Traiger 9/2011

“For choreographer Robert Bettmann, artistic and political action emanate from the same taproot. Quis Custodiet, a full-length contemporary dance piece examining issues related to security, is the newest venture for his fledgling District-based company Bettmann Dances. A performance on Sunday is one in a still-evolving series of showings the work will have this season as Bettmann wrestles with the resonant meaning of the Latin phrase, ‘Quis custodiet ipsus custodet’ — who will watch the watchers — and how it relates to his Jewish sensibility and to his liberal political activism.”

The Three Minute Interview
Washington Examiner Interview by Emily Babay 9/2011

“Security is not an infinite good. It’s inherently limited. I think we make decisions in emergencies that might not be the best long-term decisions, and I think now, on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, it’s an opportunity to remember. Security is critically important, and balance is important, too.”

Can Art Help a Nation Heal?
Washington Post by DeNeen Brown 8/2011

At Woolly Mammoth Theatre on Friday, Robert Bettmann, artistic director of Bettmann Dances, presents a powerful performance he choreographed and calls “Quis Custodiet,” Bettmann hopes to create a conversation about “what security means to us and how we pursue it.”

The dance, in three sections, starts with a retelling of the Adam and Eve story, comparing Eve to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and examining the question of too much information made public can be dangerous. At a rehearsal in Takoma Park, Bettmann watched as dancers practiced — soaring, twirling and trying to translate into dance the fragile concept of security.

“I want the audience to leave feeling empowered,” Bettman says. “I am not trying to moralize one way or the other. I don’t understand how terrible things happen. As an artist, it’s easy to describe a problem. It is harder to suggest a solution.”

Q and A with Robert Bettmann
on Pinkline 8/2011

“Quis is a community exploration of security, culminating in a dance performance. We have not only been working to develop the dance, but have also been creating programs and conversations within the community to help us inform the dance and to generate a thoughtful consideration of the ideas behind the dance.”

Bettmann Dances Quis Arrives at Woolly
on Painterly Visions 6/2011 by Anne Marchand

“The project is created by an awarding winning artistic team including Bettmann, video creators Tim Tate and Chanan Delivuk and the project is already benefiting from the participation of a host committee in seeking sponsors, promoters, supporters, and media partners, and from the participation of the community in company-hosted dialogues about community and national security.”

Two Nights of Local Contemporary Dance Art
in The Examiner 4/2011 by Kelly Patterson

“Bettmann Dances will be performing two new sections of the company’s Quis Custodiet project: Adam and Eve (about how information is dangerous) and Cain and Abel (about personal responsibility for security.) Expect modern expressive, narrative performances, with respect for classical techniques.”

Rob Bettmann Has Some New Ideas
on Pinkline 9/2010 by Ellyn Weiss

“This is a story about a guy who does a whole lot of things and does them all well and about his newest project to create an evening-length dance in and of the community.”

“Bettmann Dances: “Who Will Watch the Watchers Themselves”
on Borderstan 9/2010 by Cecile Oreste

Quis Custodiet, an abbreviation of the Latin phrase, Quis custodiet ipsus custodet? It translates to, ‘Who will watch the watchers themselves?’ and is inspired by the personal connections Bettmann has with the issue of security. His grandparents met as refugees in New York during World War II, and Bettmann himself experienced life in DC both before and after 9/11.  The title of the project, “Quis Custodiet,” also plays with the idea of performing for an audience. Spectators watch the dancers, but who watches the audience?”

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