Klenjoski explores the urgent, nationally relevant topic of immigration through a personal lens. Far From Home, is a personal yet universal journey through the themes of migration. Commitment, opportunity, assimilation, roots, loss, faith, and home are explored through seven sections of dance, film, music, and poetry. Klenjoski’s research for this work began with the story of her parents and their journey from Macedonia to America over 50 years ago. They first went to Vienna, Austria, to escape old-world customs and seek a better life. Soon after, dreaming the American Dream, they immigrated to America with a suitcase in one hand and their infant daughter in another. They lost deep ties to family, the Orthodox Church, and their cultural history and traditions. They gained a chance to build a new life. Klenjoski’s work asks, “Was the difficulty and promise of leaving one home and making peace with another worth it?” The work opens with a documentary by Jake Simms that includes a filmed interview with Regina’s parents and migrations stories of 5 Wichita residents.
Several collaborators helped Klenjoski realize Far From Home. The original score is by Macedonian composer Toni Kitanovski, whom Klenjoski met in summer 2018 when doing research for Far From Home in Macedonia. Costumes are designed by longtime collaborator and BCBG pattern maker Denise Lichter. Wichita-based filmmaker Jake Simms and LA-based videographer Logan McNay have been involved with the genesis of the work since the February 2019 poetry and movement workshops with the Wichita immigrant community.