Good news ! The community opera PUSH (written by composer Howard Moody) inspired by the true story of Simon Gronowski , a boy whose mother pushed him off the ‘Transport XX’ train heading to Auschwitz in 1943 – an action that saved his life and gave the opera its name – is now programmed in Simon’s hometown in March 2019 in the De Munt | La Monnaie opera house of Brussels .
Howard had met Simon, now in his 80s, in Brussels and promised to write an opera based on his life. PUSH tells this story but also deals with much broader themes of persecution.
After the world premiere of PUSH in 2016 in the UK , and a recent second performance in , Howard Moody once again brings together professional musicians and amateur performers – both adults and children – from the UK and Belgium in a unique theatrical experience.
Push your child off the edge!
My mother gave birth to me twice
Pushing me towards freedom and life
More info / links
Ma vie n’est que miracles. My life is only miracles
A full documentary on Simon’s life , the film Miracles is in production now – more soon on Miracles.Media
① memo 20171125 ~ Lon’s World Premiere ~ Last week the short documentary film LON by Nina Landau had its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) , with showings from November 16-24th in one of the most beautiful cinemas in the world , the Tuschinski Theater in Amsterdam , Holland – a modern style mixed Art Deco , Jugendstil movie palace , opened in 1921 by the jewish polish immigrant Abraham Tuschinski (murdered in Auschwitz in 1942).
Lon Landau is a promising Jewish stage designer whose life takes a turn during World War II. He is held captive in a Belgian nazi camp, but decides to stay positive and do what he knows best: building dream worlds. LON is an ode to the power of imagination and how people maintain their dignity in difficult times.
Link to trailer LON documentary.
I first watched LON via the Belgian channel Canvas | VRT.be – which aired the film November 19th. Yesterday I watched the film in Tuschinski – and enjoyed the fine quality of the film on that big screen … and , by the way , the rich colors of the image I contributed – the picture of the oil-painted ‘Robin Hood’ marionette made by Lon Landau.
In Lon’s artistic spirit , Nina Landau shows the story of her great-uncle Lon in her short documentary animation film ‘LON’ , on a ‘stage’ of paper sheets , were hand-drawn figures , sketches , are brought to life , just like the marionettes Lon made 75 years ago for the puppet show he prepared for the children around him , living like he in the Nazi transit camp Kazerne Dossin – waiting for deportation to a death camp. Lon’s puppet show did not premiere for the children in the camp , because he was deported to Auschwitz shortly before the envisioned performance.
This 7 minute short Flemish version of ‘La Vita è bella’ by Nina Landau , and co-workers Jamie MacLean, Penelope Deltour , Gert Van Goethem , and Sus Slaets will be screened again in december in Belgium at the international Kort Film Festival in Leuven; and next Saturday , December 2nd 2017 at ‘Kortfilms in Dossin‘ , in the Kazerne Dossin museum in Mechelen .
① memo 20171124 ~ Bubbles Dance ~ Little girl dancing in soap bubbles – street performance at Dam square in Amsterdam , Holland
① memo 20171117 ~ Till Eulenspiegel ~ The Antwerp avant garde artist ‘Lon’ Leon Landau made a puppet theater for the children in the Kazerne Dossin transit camp , with 12 puppets like this marionette Till Eulenspiegel (Tijl Uilenspiegel) – and Robin Hood which I published previously [ https://michelvanderburg.com/2017/07/29/lons-puppet-show/ ] . However, Lon was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 , before the puppet show could took place. Filmed November 15, 2013 in Kazerne Dossin , Mechelen , Belgium.
① memo 20170729 ~ Lon’s Puppet Show ~ The Antwerp avant garde artist ‘Lon’ Leon Landau made a puppet theater for the children in the Kazerne Dossin transit camp , with 12 puppets like this rebellious character ‘Robin Hood’ filmed here , and eg Till Eulenspiegel (Tijl Uilenspiegel) – but Lon was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 , before the puppet show could took place.
He was a rebel himself , one of the people that hid the tools under the straw on the floor of the cattle cars to help escape the deportees on Transport XX. Interview with Janiv Stamberger ( researcher Kazerne Dossin ) filmed August 18, 2016 at the Wiki Loves Art event in Kazerne Dossin , Mechelen , Belgium.
① memo 20170625 ~ Moving Stars ~ Flint Theater , June 25 2011 , Amersfoort , Holland