Remembering 9/11 Through the Power of Dance

September 4, 2014

Photo by Terri Gold


For the past two weeks, 120 dancers representing a cross-section of genres have been crowding into studio space around New York City in preparation for what is becoming an annual event: The Table of Silence Project 9/11, a site-specific tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The project, conceived by choreographer Jacqueline Buglisi in collaboration with visual artist Rosella Vasta, takes place Thursday morning on the plaza of Lincoln Center, surrounding the Revson Fountain.


Swathed in white, dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Juilliard School, Ballet Hispanico, Steps on Broadway, Peridance, the National Dance Institute, Martha Graham Dance Company and School, the Ailey School and Broadway, as well as Buglisi’s own company, Buglisi Dance Theatre, will surround the plaza in a ritualistic processional, creating concentric circles that culminate in a peace labyrinth. Each dancer then presents a white terra cotta plate, designed by Vasta. “The plates create a universal table, uniting humanity,” Buglisi explained during rehearsal last Wednesday. At 8:46 am, the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center in the attack, the dancers will slowly lift their arms to the heavens for a minute of reverent silence.


The free, public performance begins at 8:15 am, and will be live-streamed on YouTube. Over 25,000 people from 82 countries have tuned in to watch in past years—a true testament to dance’s power to heal.


To donate to the Table of Silence’s Kickstarter campaign, click here.


Please note: An earlier version of this blog incorrectly stated that the event takes place on Wednesday (September 10). We have corrected it to read Thursday (September 11).