dNaga’s mission is to create work that reflects the culture in which we live and to explore our shared human experience. dNaga incorporates adolescent students of dance, youth dancers who are just beginning their studies, youth who are not students of dance, and elderly people with Parkinson’s Disease, in addition to professional adult dancers. Together, dNagalers explore, through dance, how we perceive ourselves in the world and how we determine our own life path and inevitably influence our community and greater society with our choices.
dNaga has covered a range of thematic material including living with Parkinson’s Disease, medication trials, brain surgery, loss of loved ones, gang violence, incarceration, gender bias, oppression, and racism. Children and elders are included in these discussions in a mindful way, and dancers are given the time and space to make sense of the difficult subjects and encouraged to discover the ways they relate in their own lives. The dancers, young and old, are offered a safe space to talk and process information and experience around these topics in supportive peer groups. Journaling follows, moving them to develop dance work. This process provides a unique, embodied experience within a trusted community for these dancers, regardless of age.
dNaga was founded by Claudine Naganuma in 2001. The company is led by Danspace Director and dNaga Artistic Director Claudine Naganuma, who draws upon her study of Early Childhood Education at Mills College, her work in the classroom at Aurora Elementary School, and 20 years’ experience in the field of dance including receiving her MFA in Choreography and Performance from Mills College. Claudine is dedicated to arts education and uses art as way to make better sense of living in the world with all of its challenges. She is also dedicated to the empowerment of those who are disenfranchised in our community, regardless of privileges influenced by age, race, health, orientation or spiritual beliefs.