The 9/11 Table of Silence Project is a multi-cultural performance ritual that celebrates humanity, compassion and the healing power of art. A Call to Action for peace through the universal language of the body, Dance.
[Above Photo: Dancers creating concentric circles Photo by Paul B. Goode]
On Wednesday, September 11th, 8:15AM, Buglisi Dance Theatre presents the ninth annual Table of Silence Project, streamed live from the Josie Robertson Plaza, Lincoln Center. This visceral expression of peace has proven to be far-reaching beyond 9/11 and holds great relevance in the critical environment of our world today. The livestream offers contemplative programming to 9/11 and a unique, transcendent experience that resonates long after the ritual has ended.
“Your voice is an affirmation and opportunity to bridge boundaries with all nations of the world and unite community in a shared experience for peace.” - Jacqulyn Buglisi, Creator of The 9/11 Table of Silence Project
The Table of Silence Project was conceived/choreographed by Jacqulyn Buglisi in 2011 to celebrate the resilience of humanity and to honor the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Italian artist Rossella Vasta’s Table of Silence sculpture inspired the metaphoric use of the plate that the dancers embrace in their surplice as a poetic expression of a banquet table uniting humanity.
Along with the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Central Park - icons of this our city, you Jacqulyn and your Table of Silence Project are forever a celebration of the human spirit, dance, the voice, the art of ritual, and myth. It's why I add it to a list of reasons "why to live here in NYC.”
– Jacques d’Amboise, Founder, National Dance Institute, Former Principal Dancer New York City Ballet
The choreography creates an ancient labyrinth that mirrors the design of the Josie Robertson Plaza. As the dancers encircle the Revson Fountain forming patterns of concentric circles, symbolizing unity and the continuous life cycle, this sacred landscape becomes filled with the transcendent energy of the Mandala, connecting dancers and viewers to the healing rituals of the natural world. At 8:46am spectators join in a moment of silence.
Impact - Global Reach
The story of The Table of Silence Project is a story of impact felt by the more than 1,400 dancers, musicians and volunteers who have participated since 2011, but even more, by all who witness our ritual for peace both in person and via livestream, reaching to date close to 1 million people across all 50 states and in 129 countries on six continents. The global livestream is poignantly filmed by Nel Shelby Productions and is available to viewers for free, on 9/11 at 8:15AM EST at buglisidance.org or for future viewing on YouTube.com/buglisidance.
“Your Table of Silence Project is extraordinary and poetic! I was overwhelmed by the massive accomplishment in the plaza and its inherent beauty. A very meaningful dance experience in the public realm. A loving tribute to the tragedy of 9/11 through the performing arts.” - Joseph Melillo, Executive Producer, Emeritus Brooklyn Academy of Music
“This public ceremony is broadcast to viewers around the world, using the power of movement to pay respect and show renewed commitment to building a brighter future.” - New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio
Impact – New York City Arts Community
"The Table of Silence Project event reminds us all of the importance of convening to collectively reflect and honor our history… We at DanceNYC are proud to support this annual effort, which creates a powerful experience in person and online that can be shared worldwide, reminding us of dance's power to heal and embody change for the future." - Alejandra Duque Cifuentes, Executive Director of Dance/NYC
Impact – Performers
Terese Capucilli, Principal Dancer/Co-Founder of Buglisi Dance Theatre and longtime collaborator with Jacqulyn Buglisi since their time as principal dancers with the Martha Graham Dance Company, leads the performance as the Bell Master bringing her powerful, indomitable spirit to the work.
The Table of Silence Project is performed by Buglisi Dance Theatre and more than 150 dancers from major dance companies and conservatories including The Juilliard School, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Hunter College, Limón Dance Company, Marymount Manhattan College, National Dance Institute, Steps Conservatory, Infinity Dance Theater representing dancers with disabilities, and performers from around the world who comprise the diverse New York City artist community. The dancers are swathed in white surplices designed by A. Christina Giannini, and hold ceremonial ceramic plates each individually designed by Rossella Vasta and created at Bizzirri Ceramiche in Perugia.
Leaders in the dance field performing in the Table of Silence Project 9/11, past and present, include Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem; Lane Harwell, Ford Foundation; Christine Jowers, Editor-in-Chief of The Dance Enthusiast; Christian Zimmermann, former Boston Ballet dancer; Carol Walker, Chair of Hunter College Department of Dance; and Virginie Mécène, Artistic Director of Graham II.
The sounding of the conch by John Ragusa and Pamela Fleming signals the beginning of the performance. They are joined by a chamber ensemble of flute, trumpet, bells, the heartbeat of the bass drums, and a chorus performing vocal scores by Libby Larsen and Paula Jeanine Bennett.
“We become the miracle of our own existence, attuning to our higher purpose, and believe for a moment, suspended in time, that peace is a possibility.” - Dancer 2018 Table of Silence Project 9/11
Impact –New York City
“The Table of Silence Project “unites the New York City arts community to spread a message of peace and hope…and honors those who provided such an extraordinary, timeless example of service and bravery that day.” - New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, Proclamation
Impact – Individuals
“The numerous cultures present in that moving sea of humanity mirrored our country’s great diversity.” – Juan Michael Porter II, Ballet Review
The magnitude of resources to produce The Table of Silence Project 9/11 each year is staggering. We continue to do so because we honor our commitment to bring our call for peace and compassion to the public in New York City and around the world on a day when we all unite to honor, to reflect, and to live peace in union.
To quote an African proverb: “It takes a village.” We gratefully acknowledge partnerships with Dance/NYC and Steps on Broadway for helping us to reach out dancers from NYC’s diverse artist community; and to the many organizations that provide promotion, rehearsal space, and volunteers including The Juilliard School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, Gibney Dance Center, Hunter College; THIRTEEN/WNET-NYC-Arts, and The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. We are honored by the annual welcome by Lincoln Center and the David H. Koch Theater; by the generosity of our funders; and, to YOU, our individual donors.
That commitment is why the Table of Silence Project 9/11 continues to have the impact that it does. But with that commitment comes very real costs. We will never charge anyone to view the Table of Silence Project 9/11, although the costs to present it are significant. So, we appeal to you today to join us in making it possible.
Photo on Top with Video: Dancers creating concentric circles Photo by Paul B. Goode
Risks and challenges
Thank you for supporting us through Kickstarter over the last 6 years. With your help, we can continue to grow our movement for peace. Our goal is to reach more people around the world than we ever have through our livestream broadcast of the 2019 Table of Silence Project 9/11. The livestream is absolutely free to watch from anywhere in the world, but it is a tremendous cost to create.
Buglisi Dance Theatre is required to cover all the costs of insurance, Union fees, security, and Wi-Fi hookup at Lincoln Center. Our costs include camera crew and post-performance editing of the livestream to create the video that grants permanent access to The Table of Silence Project online for everyone, in all time zones, at any time, for free. This is in addition to production costs to realize the Table of Silence Project, ranging from rehearsal space large enough for over 150 dancers, costumes, props, and artist fees.
We are filled with gratitude for the support and contributions we have already received. Now we must still raise $7,500 to cover the costs of the free public tribute and simulcast.
We take nothing for ourselves. Every dollar you generously donate goes to keeping this project alive, to helping us make an impact together.
Kickstarter is an "all-or-nothing" proposition. If we don’t meet our goal of $7,500, your credit card will not be charged and our project receives none of the benefits of your generosity.
Any amount raised in excess of our goal helps us further defray the costs of the project, allowing us to spread our vision of peace even farther.
Be assured, aside from the 5% Kickstarter fee and a 3-5% Stripe credit card processing fee, all funds raised are used directly for the Table of Silence Project performance event and livestream. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Every dollar you generously donate is used to keep this project alive, and the kindness you show by sharing of our campaign helps us tremendously. Thank you for making your impact on peace in our world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (19 days)