DOYKEIT: a performance-ritual of the diaspora

Laura Levinson

About Laura Levinson

Laura Levinson – they/them/zey/zeyer – who also goes by Ohr, feels most at home in motion. Zey call on the magic of queer Jewish diasporism to remind us that love in transit still has its roots in the earth. We belong to the land – ani l’dodi v’dodi li. Ohr has been performing and creating work in Minneapolis, MN, for the past 8 years with Sami Pfeffer, Wild Conspiracy, Marcus Young, Aniccha Arts, BareBones Puppets, and a variety of other beloved collaborators. They are a 2019 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the MN State Arts Board to produce DUMPSTER FIRE: an evening of Queer & Trans performance at Franconia Sculpture Park. They’ve trained with master herbalist Lise Wolff, and their class “Gut, Bones, Ground” combines their research as an improvisation-based choreographer with their work as a politicized healer and forever-apprentice to the plants.

About DOYKEIT: a performance-ritual of the diaspora

Created and performed by Ohr (Laura) Levinson, Chava Kokhleffel, and Rachel Lieberman; produced by J-Pride, Don’t You Feel it Too?, and with special thanks to Shir Tikvah for their support; film by Prakshi Malik. DOYKEIT – Yiddish for “hereness” – is a new work of diasporist performance-ritual, created and performed on Dakota homeland and Anishinaabe traditional territory. DOYKEIT addresses themes of finding Jewish rest within our histories of violence and diaspora, reviving ancestral wisdom, and healing in deep relationship alongside the land and one another. Shmita requires that we ALL remember how to rest. Ohr, Chava, and Rachel are three creative, spiritual, and community-driven queer performers of Ashkenazi descent. We believe strong and lasting solidarity relies on knowing ourselves with profound depth and honesty, and honoring the land wherever we are. We use this work as a portal to ask the questions that we hope will prepare our bodies for the days ahead, as it becomes increasingly clear that Abolition, Reparations, and Land Back are the only ways to ensure a thriving future for all human and non-human life on our planet. May we come to remember who we are so that all may heal.”What is home? What is a thriving future? Where do we belong? How do we transcend, reckon, navigate, transform? In the name of Solidarity. In the name of Belonging. In the name of Life.We ask, together, bravely: What is required of us now? What will we whisper to our descendants? What beautiful seeds will we plant in the soil, send with a prayer downriver, and hope they find their mark in a future free from the violence and disconnect of white supremacy? Here, right here. Alive, so alive – a miracle. Weep together. Grieve together. You have each other. We have each other. Our ancestors adorn us.”