Photo credit: Yolanda Accinelli

Ceremony of Angels

An evening of dreams, angst, and beauty


Photo credit: Yolanda Accinelli

Ceremony of Angels can be viewed as a mythical dream of archetypal images strewn together. In a dream, things are not always comprehensible. Perhaps there are symbols and ideas that mean one thing to a dreamer and something else to another dreamer. This is one of my favorite intrigues of modern art. The way that I created this work was to rally as many angels as possible into one room. I know that they are here with with us. This piece is a blessing for those who have passed on, especially Ruth Yoshizumi, Chiyoko Yamamoto, Paul Paravanti, Kevin Freeman, Betsy Leong, and Pamela Djerassi. Ceremony of Angels explores the line between life and death, daily and magical life.

The piece premiered in 2001, the year dNaga was founded. The company started out of Naganuma’s desire to put together all of her artistic interested in sculpture, textiles, and her many different styles of dance training which included ballet, butoh, Chinese opera, and modern dance. The year prior she spent time at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program where she had time to play with all of these different elements. The experience was transformative for her, and she married her art. Since then, Joel Davel, Ann Foley, Cheryl Koehler, Pam Wu, Dale MacDonald, and Beth Hoge have viciously supported her vision to create the kind of work she wanted to create without boundaries. Beth Hoge, founder of Danspace, had had her studio for over 25 years and had trained all of the dancers onstage for Ceremony of Angels. It was the natural momentum in the school that Naganuma’s company evolved out of Danspace, where it is still in residence. While creating this piece, she broke many of her own rules about how things should happen, and she felt a sense of adventure and excitement in that.

Dancers: Carly Boland, Lesley Braithwaite, Prima Cristafalo, Karin Drucker, Beth Hoge, Sydney Howe, Kyla James, Claudine Naganuma, Mollie Speigleman, Tara Streich-Pilles, Kimberly Valmore, and Anne Westwick

Musicians: Guillermo Galindo and Joel Davel


Photo credit: Yolanda Accinelli

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