Bettmann Dances: “Who Will Watch the Watchers Themselves?”

by September 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm 2,687 1 Comment

Cecile Oreste Bettmann Dances Luis Gomez Photos

Robert Bettmann shows off his dance moves for Borderstan on the steps of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry Temple at 16th and S Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

Conversations about security and what that means for our nation often come to the forefront around September 11, 2001. This year is no different for Robert Bettmann, artistic director of Bettmann Dances, who aims to explore the issue of security through his company’s latest project, Quis Custodiet.

Quis Custodiet, an abbreviation of the Latin phrase, Quis custodiet ipsus custodet? It translates to, ‘Who will watch the watchers themselves?’ and is inspired by the personal connections Bettmann has with the issue of security. His grandparents met as refugees in New York during World War II, and Bettmann himself experienced life in DC both before and after 9/11.

The title of the project, “Quis Custodiet,” also plays with the idea of performing for an audience. Spectators watch the dancers, but who watches the audience?

In addition to inspiration from his personal questions about security, Bettmann hopes to infuse the year-long project with feedback from the local community. He plans to hold dance workshops in different areas of DC, inviting participants to share their experiences through movement.

Bettmann Dances will also be launching a website where visitors can exchange information and learn about the issue of security. According to Bettmann, the idea behind these initiatives is “to project local voices into a national dialogue.”

Cecile Oreste Bettmann Dances Luis Gomez Photos

Robert Bettman. (Luis Gomez Photos)

What about Bettmann’s dance style? He describes it as theatrical, modern dance and tries to create “beautiful and meaningful choreography that can be enjoyed on a variety of levels.”

You can support the Quis Custodiet project by pledging to their Kickstarter through September 26.


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