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Published on Aug 12, 2009
NOOR, a highly charged dance theater work tells the incredible true story of Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan, daughter of Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Khan, brought up on music and spirituality, who became a spy during WW11. Although she came from a Pacifist background, Noor felt compelled to become proactive in order to save innocent victims of Nazi persecution.
Code named Madeleine, Noor was the first woman wireless operator working for Britain's SOE covertly inﬁltrated into Nazi occupied Paris, where she had lived with her family until they fled to London during the 1940 Nazi invasion. As her spy ring collapsed around her, she was the last communication link between Paris and London, often doing the work of six radio operators. She was betrayed, held prisoner in Gestapo Headquarters at Avenue Foch and finally shot at Dachau in 1944. Her last word was Liberte.
She was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre with Gold Star and George Cross MBE, France and Britain's highest awards to civilians during wartime for acts of bravery. Her beauty was such that when her captors learned of her death, they wept.
Felicia Norton expresses Noor's childhood, her development into womanhood and her time in France with delight, strength and dignity. David Majzlin and Sasha Spielvogel weave together Noor's poems and musical compositions, interspersing her translation of The Elephant Tale from The Twenty Jataka Tales. They include Morse code, political speeches, voices of those who knew her, music of the era, letters to her brother and Mr. Majzlin's own score to embody Noor's spirit and the times in which she lived.
Writer and Artistic Director: Sasha Spielvogel Choreography: Felicia Norton and Sasha Spielvogel Performer: Felicia Norton Score: David Majzlin, Lighting: Bobby Suchocki Edited by: Harlem Pictures/Eve Cuyen
Voice of Noor: Holly Villaire Jullian Emma Burger reading The Great Elephant Tale from The Twenty Jataka Tales by Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan
"Song to the Madzub" words and music by Noor Inayat Khan, adapted for cello by David Majzlin Poems written by Noor "La Violette", "The Lamp of Joy"
Script development based on research from the following sources: Madeleine, by Jean Overton Fuller Spy Princess, by Shrabani Basu A Man Called Intrepid, William Stevenson A Life in Secrets Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WW11, by Sarah Helm Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War 1941-1945, by Leo Marks
Special Thanks: Shrabani Basu, Stuart Hodes, Sophia Paris, Christine Jowers, David Burger, Bruce Benedict, Doug Barron. filmed December 29th, 2008 at Angel Orensanz Synagogue, NYC running time 32 minutes