Kristen Smiarowski

Sleep, Staring, Well

Asite-adaptive dance-theater event examining the cultural construction of memory of historical events, referencing Holocaust survivor Ida Fink's story "The Key Game.”


Dec 5, 2012Indexical Permutations Performance!

Oct 8, 2011Kristen Smiarowski’s Groundswell
Los Angeles, CA

The LA Fellows

Tali Tadmor
Yelena Zhelezov
Paul Ratner
Will Deutsch
Sasha Perry
Jonas N.T. Becker
Jessie Kahnweiler
Corrie Siegel
Kristen Smiarowski


Indexical Permutations (after The Key Game)


The Key Game


In 2008, Kristen Smiarowski started THE KEY GAME project, a series of choreographic responses to Polish writer and Holocaust survivor Ida Fink’s fictional short story by the same name. Each dance in THE KEY GAME series is a memorial to the one preceding it.

Sleep, Staring, Well culminates THE KEY GAME project. It weaves together live dance and theater performance with archival materials – including video, graphs, written word and audio recordings – from previous works in the series. Audience members experience Sleep, Staring, Well on foot as they move freely through a labyrinth constructed of rope, tubing and permeable fabric. This is a kinetic labyrinth of space and time: the shape, size and function of each room, alcove or passageway changes and morphs. New channels open as others are closed. Fabric is stretched, wrapped or dropped to conceal or reveal actions and objects, divide spaces and alter perspective. Sleep, Staring, Well draws attention to the hypermediation of historical memory. It reflects the ways in which generations born after World War II vicariously receive information about Holocaust history and how we attempt to make meaning out of a historical period we did not experience directly.

Kristen Smiarowski is a choreographer and interdisciplinary artist who creates work for the stage, public sites, gallery settings and film. Commissions to create original choreography have included Skirball Cultural Center, Dancing in the Streets, Edgemar Installations, Saint Joseph Ballet (The Wooden Floor), and Links Hall. Choreographic highlights include “Groundswell,” a site-specific dance at Los Angeles’ Ballona Freshwater Marsh (2006, upcoming performance at the 2011 World Festival of Sacred Music – and “Attempts,” a duet about dance, activism and the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, which she created with Tom Young in 2002. She also participates in the work of other artists, including as dramaturge/performer for Simone Forti, and is a founding member of the Los Angeles-based collective, Choreographers Working Group. She has an M.F.A. from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures, 2002. She is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University, where she teaches choreography and directs programs that connect dance and social justice.

Contact Info

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L.A. Times
Sept. 29, 2011

Daily Breeze
Oct. 6, 2011

Coming soon…