Tallit: Prayer Shawl

Choreography by Fanchon Shur
Music by Bonia Shur

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Tallit: Prayer Shawl is a meditative and celebratory dance drama in which a theater becomes a sanctuary and an audience a sacred community. In this two-hour choreographic and visual feast, members of the “awe”dience are gradually drawn into the “fabric” (a 40′ x 30′ stretch silk prayer shawl). Through movement, poetry, chant and music, the seven dancers and community sanctify nature’s energies, weave them into the story of the Jewish past, and transform Jewish symbolism to include a choreographed wedding of the entire community gathering under the “Tree of Life”, and ends with a four-generational prayer which gives birth to a contemporary, non-sectarian community of praise and purpose. Tallit has been performed at:

  • Cleveland College of Judaic Studies, Cleveland, Ohio, Co-sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese Conference on Women
  • Grailville Center, Loveland; Ohio, sponsored by The Grail Women’s Task Force
  • Franciscan Life Center, Toledo, Ohio
  • University of Cincinnati, Ohio Women’s Studies Program and the Department of Judaic Studies,
  • Contemporary Dance Theater, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Bryn Maur College in Philadelphia, Pa., sponsored by P’Nai Or
  • Columbia University, NYC. Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies International Conference

“TALLIT: PRAYER SHAWL is a two-hour ceremonial dance drama. The Tallit, traditionally worn only by Orthodox Jewish men, has been a totally male-identified symbol of the human encounter with the transcendent. As choreographer of the dance drama, Shur claims the Tallit for all women as well as men, transforming it into the serpent, the womb, the birth canal, the umbilical cord, the wedding canopy, the tree of life. As the dance recapitulates life’s journey, all present are invited to join in and participate. The Tallit as wedding canopy (chuppah) becomes a symbol of people’s connections with one another, the ‘marriage’ of each to all.”

– American Isrealite, February 9, 1989

Tallit: Prayer Shawl (Edited Version) from Fanchon Shur on Vimeo.


  1. Reply Elisa Beck

    Magnifique! So much amazing love and insight. Brachas to you and your family and all of us in these extraordinary times. ??❤️✡☮?❤️

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