About Quis

Quis image by artist Johanna Mueller

Quis Custodiet is a multi-year community exploration of security. The mission of the project is to encourage serious engagement with the issues of citizenship that are embedded in questions about local, community, and national security. If the project has a point of view, it is that healthy communities are engaged communities, and that the outsourcing of thought about security is dangerous.

Individuals and communities, including the Jewish community, have struggled with these issues for thousands of years, and the title for the piece was inspired by a saying attributed variously to Piccarus and other philosophers between the fourth and sixth century BC: Quis Custodiet Ispus Custodet; “Who Shall Watch the Watchers Themselves?”

Quis Custodiet explores how we – as individuals and communities – define and pursue security. Choreographer Robert Bettmann states, “Especially since 9/11, and the financial crisis, I have been grappling with issues of national and personal security, and I know I’m not alone. What can we do to be safe, as individuals and communities, and how does that impact security outside our communities?”

In addition to exploring weighty issues of local and national security, Quis Custodiet is also a light-hearted exploration of the dancers relationship to the audience, and curation in the art world.

The company began the Quis project with the support of fifty Kickstarter contributors.

Bettmann Dances first evening length performance – All Good Men – premiered in 2009 at the Capital Fringe Festival. A dance theater adaptation of a Dylan Thomas film-script, All Good Men was hailed in The Examiner as “an example of artistic craftsmanship.”

For Quis Custodiet, the company teamed with an accomplished group of collaborators, including renowned glass and video artist Tim Tate (video/set design). Artist Johanna Mueller created the Quis image for the project.